The 24th annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride is Saturday, Sept. 16, in remembrance of the forced removal of American Indians from across the Southeast to Oklahoma in the late 1830s.
Sponsored by the AL-TN Trail of Tears Corridor Association Inc., the motorcycle ride runs from Ross's Landing to Waterloo, Ala. The route is recognized by the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission as the official "Trail of Tears Commemoration and Motorcycle Ride."
Locally, ride activities start at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, when it's kickstands up for a ride from Ross's Landing to Bridgeport Ala. Bikers planning to ride should be at Ross's Landing by 2:30 p.m.
The kickoff party in Bridgeport starts at 3:30 p.m. CDT Friday with a blessing of the bikes, national anthem, presentation of the flag and presentation of the Spirit of America Award.
The kickoff party in Bridgeport will include music by Anna Beth McSpadden, Brandon Elder and Cooper Berry Band, the latter playing for the 6:30 p.m. CDT street dance.
Bikers will be up with the sun at 7 a.m. CDT Saturday for the ride to Waterloo. The Bridgeport Lions Club will host a send-off breakfast at 6 a.m. downtown before bikes leave from Alabama Avenue for Highway 72.
Trail of Tears ride organizers say this ride is intended for experienced riders only with safe motorcycles. Helmets are required.
For more information: www.al-tn-trailoftears.net.