DODGE CITY, Kansas– On July 4th, 1914 the Federation of American Motorcyclists sanctioned one of its first events, a 300 mile race in Dodge City.
“A number of us are motorcyclists and we knew about the centennial approaching,” said Jim Johnson, Dodge City 300 Inc. Secretary. “We got together and said you know we’ve got to do something to celebrate this.”
“It’s just a marvelous part of our history that nobody seems to know about,” said Executive Director of Carnegie Arts Center Summer Bates. “You know, they think Dodge City and cowboys and Wyatt Earp.”
Bikers were trickling into town on Tuesday, but organizers said they expect to see people from all over the country show up to take part in the week’s events. There will be vintage bike shows, dirt racing, historical tours, and live music throughout the week.
Musicians from Mississippi, Colorado, and Arkansas were already in Dodge setting up on Tuesday morning.
“This is wonderful, dirt track racing’s a kick,” said musician and biker Stephen King. His band “Off 61” came from Mississippi to play and partake in the bike shows. “To be out here in Dodge City, it’s a great event! The bikers, I think, are going to have a wonderful time.”
The race will be on July 4th at the Rodeo Arena, but racers will be doing short track races instead of the full 300 miles.