Lehighton Bike Night founder would like to see 2-day event
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Ed Finney of Lehighton attends Lehighton Bike Night with his daughter, Sheila, left, and wife, Linda. Finney, who founded Bike Night in 1999, said he would like to see it become a two-day event.
In 1999, Lehighton resident Ed Finney put together the community's first Bike Night, a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts that became an overwhelming success.
It was held in the downtown Lehighton parks and has become an annual one-day event.
Finney had to bow-out as an organizer of the event after about five years because of his work schedule, but he still attends every one.
The 14th annual Bike Night was held this past Saturday and like the previous ones, attracted many motorcyclists and spectators.
Finney said he is hoping Bike Night can become even bigger.
"I'd like to see this for a whole weekend so we could get more vendors," the lifelong local man said.
One reason it could be a two-day event is because there are more motels in the Lehighton area which would attract overnight visitors, he said. When Bike Night was first organized, such hotels as Hampton Inn and Country Inn & Suites along Route 209 in Franklin Township had not yet been built.
Looking over the crowd which attended Saturday's event during a day of ample sunshine, Finney remarked, "You got the people but we're not keeping them."
He said bikers would come and stay overnight, patronizing local merchants and vendors for two days instead of just one.
He said his work schedule still keeps him from getting active with Bike Night at the present time, but didn't rule out the possibility of rejoining it in the not-too-distant future.
In its first 13 years, Bike Night has raised well over $100,000 that was split with the Lehighton Police Department, Lehighton Fire Department, and Lehighton Borough.
This year's Bike Night was organized by the Lehighton Downtown Initiative Committee. The proceeds will be used by the committee to improve the downtown park area.
Reportedly security cameras are among the items being considered for purchase with the proceeds.