LAKE GEORGE — The Americade motorcycle rally, one of the biggest events held in Lake George each summer, has been moved from early June to late July and will have new rules to maintain distance between participants, organizers announced on Wednesday.
Americade, which for nearly 40 years has drawn thousands of motorcyclists from across the country to the village of Lake George and its surroundings, has been moved from the first full week of June to the week of July 21-25, in the hope that many restaurants and hospitality businesses shut down in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic will be re-opened by then.
There had been concerns that the event would have to be canceled, but organizers want to keep the annual tradition going.
“The health of our community and our guests is paramount, but it is our sincere hope that by late July, it will be possible to bring Americade back to Lake George as long as there are no federal, state or local regulations that would preclude it,” said Christian Dutcher, Americade’s organization.
The “touchless” Americade will have new protocols for social distancing and handwashing, and will emphasize individual scenic tours, rather than the large group rides through the Adirondacks that have characterized the event in the past. The number of people attending the Americade Expo will be limited, and some activities that have historically attracted shoulder-to-shoulder crowds will be canceled. Attendees will be encouraged to register to attend and pay remotely.
Participants also will be encouraged to use a broad selection of restaurants while touring, rather than all gathering at one establishment, organizers said.
Given the amount of uncertainty around summer vacation activities, local officials welcomed the decision, even though it moves Americade to a busier time of the summer.
“Americade’s decision to postpone rather than cancel is a welcome decision for our region’s economy,” said Lake George village Mayor Robert Blais.
“Americaders can count on the warm welcome they’ve come to expect and Lake George’s trademark hospitality — delivered gratefully, cheerfully, and at a safe distance,” said Gina Mintzer, executive director of the Lake George Chamber of Commerce.
Dutcher said events during Americade will include a special fundraiser to honor first-responders, hospital workers, and other front-line workers in the battle against coronavirus.