Red River is busy preparing for its annual Rally in the Valley for Memorial Day weekend, an event that has been happening for over 40 years. Mayor Linda Calhoun spoke to the Questa del Rio News and discussed some of the preps going into the annual event.
In the 3-day span, nearly 30,000 motorcycles pass through the Red River valley. “This year, we are going to allow vendors to set up in the park. It’s kind of like a gathering place, or a central hub, so having food there will work well. We’ve also been actively working with businesses to determine who would be okay with other vendors setting up in front of their business. Overall, about 50 vendors attend our rally,” Calhoun says.
“There is a lot of preparation that has gone into this event to make it very safe. We plan months in advance and engage many stakeholder groups including the state police, Taos County Sheriff’s Office, and local law enforcement groups,” Calhoun says. She was happy to note that the event has evolved significantly over the years, becoming more family friendly and giving space for both bikers and families to enjoy the weekend.
In addition to vendors and public safety, the Town of Red River is also responsible for coordinating logistics to include stripping cross walks, coordinating the procurement of parking signs, and renting porta-potties. The town also covers the costs associated with the lodging of public safety personnel who travel from across the state to assist with the event. Overall, the town allocates between $40,000 to $50,000 toward hosting the rally.
Over the past 10 years, Mayor Calhoun says the event has seen an 8% increase in growth. “We’ve been doing this event long enough, we’re a well-oiled machine at this point and we’re not stopping anytime soon, it’s a big financial boost to our local economy which kicks off the summer,” she says. With this in mind, the town is looking at ways to reduce the financial impact the event has on the town’s budget, including submitting a grant application to assist with the overhead costs of the event. If rewarded, the town would receive money to assist with costs associated with the 2024 rally.