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June 2024

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Mayfest in the Mountains Rebrand Met With Mixed Reviews

Red River kicked off its rebranded “Mayfest in The Mountains,” this year, a shift away from the traditional motorcycle rally and its street vendors, and towards family-friendly and educational activities in the area’s parks, in the wake of last year’s deadly shootout.

We spoke with people who were in favor of the rebrand, and some who felt like the economic impact wasn’t worth the change.

“I think it’s terrible,” said an Old Tymers employee by the name of Banos. “I’m starting this weekend in the hole because of it.” Old Tymers displayed a large banner at the entrance on Main Street reading “bikers welcome” in hopes of attracting their regular Memorial Day clientele.

“We’re still expecting some of our regulars this year,” said Banos. Other restaurants along Main Street also made efforts to appeal to bikers, including Texas Reds Steakhouse and Motherlode Saloon, who dubbed the weekend’s event “Revive the Ride.”

Levi Curry, of Bearly Awake Coffee, posted on Facebook that this is actually better for local businesses. Historically it’s out-of-town vendors lining the streets, with wall-to-wall bikes and people, so local businesses have been shortchanged economically.

Others posted, “I like the new look… less people and crowds… It’s a much better image for a family-friendly town.” Red River also housed the Wall of Honor memorial in its conference center, a memorial dedicated to fallen soldiers of Desert Storm/Desert Shield (1990-91), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-14), and Operation Iraqi Freedom(2003-11) displaying the names of over 6,500 veterans.