Get your motor runnin' Sunday

Controversial motorcycle event is a go

Published: 5/1/2009 12:02 AM

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Waukegan for a motorcycle show Sunday - an event Grayslake chased away last year when officials cited potential violence.

Austin's Saloon & Eatery in Libertyville will host the Ironhorse Roundup Bike Show in Waukegan because it outgrew its original space in the restaurant's parking lot. Austin's owner Mark Khayat said the day will be as much about music as motorcycles.

Plans call for Motley Crue singer Vince Neil to start festivities at 11 a.m. with "Ride with the Rock Stars" from Austin's to the event outside Sundance Saloon at the Fountain Square development, just east of Route 120 and the Tri-State Tollway. Khayat said the motorcycle ride will cost $20, with proceeds going to the Skylar Neil Foundation for cancer research. Neil's young daughter, Skylar, died from cancer in 1995.

Waukegan spokesman David Motley said Thursday that 10,000 to 15,000 patrons are projected for the fifth Ironhorse Roundup. If all goes well, Motley said, the event will become an annual Waukegan staple.

"There is nothing going on at the top of May," Motley said.

Waukegan police and Ironhorse organizers have worked together on logistics, such as parking and security, Motley said. Waukegan officials don't forecast any problems.

It was a different story last year in Grayslake. Mayor Timothy Perry cited the potential for violence when he announced the village's cancellation of Ironhorse's Lake County fairgrounds permit at the last minute.

Grayslake officials said information from the Illinois State Police's Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center indicated members of the Outlaws motorcycle club, identified as an international criminal organization, had planned to attend the show.

As for Sunday's Ironhorse Roundup in Waukegan, more than 100 vendors will be on hand selling everything from leather to chrome motorcycle parts to paint. Khayat said there will be a variety of food and beverages available.

Neil will be the day's music headliner. Led Zeppelin tribute band Kashmir will be among the other acts to hit the stage.

"This has turned into not only a bike thing, but a music thing as well," Khayat said.

Individual motorcycle blessings from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows' Carpentersville branch, freestyle motocross and a best-bike competition also will be part of the scene.

Although thousands are expected for the Ironhorse, that has yet to translate into sold-out hotel rooms in the Waukegan area, said Maureen Riedy, president of the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Nonetheless, she said, the event should have a positive effect on the local economy.

"I think anything that brings visitors into Lake County is always good," Riedy said.

Motorcycles and music

What: Ironhorse Roundup Bike Show

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

Where: Sundance Saloon grounds at Fountain Square, Waukegan, one mile east of Route 120 and Tri-State Tollway

Cost: $10 at gate

Highlights: Motley Crue singer Vince Neil, individual motorcycle blessings, freestyle motocross, best-bike competition, food, beverages and merchandise vendors.

Before Ironhorse: Neil to lead "Ride with the Rock Stars" at 11 a.m. from event host Austin's Saloon & Eatery on Route 137 in Libertyville to Sundance Saloon. The motorcycle ride is $20, with proceeds going to Skylar Neil Foundation for cancer research. Neil's young daughter, Skylar, died from cancer in 1995. Registration starts at 10 a.m.

Source: Austin's Saloon & Eatery