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West Coast Thunder set for Memorial Day

West Coast Thunder is expected to bring more than 7,500 motorcycle riders to Riverside and the surrounding communities for the annual ride honoring members of the armed services this Memorial Day.

Scheduled to kick off in the morning Monday, May 27, at Riverside Harley-Davidson, 7688

Indiana Avenue, the celebrated motorcycle ride throughout the area includes a 53-mile trip along two freeways and will end at Diamond Stadium with a concert featuring Chayce Beckham.

“We are excited to bring together the community again for a memorable and meaningful celebration of our veterans’ valor and sacrifice,” Jackson Dodd, executive director of West Coast Thunder Foundation, said. 

West Coast Thunder was first held in 2000 when the dealership belonged to Skip Fordyce and operated under that banner, according to City News Service.

The thousands of motorcyclists bearing American flags and other ensigns will start to gather around 6 a.m. that day before departing the dealership with a police escort at 9:11 a.m. and kick off their ride up Alessandro Boulevard to south Riverside, “where residents regularly gather on sidewalks to wave and show support,” City News Service said.

From Alessandro Boulevard, the ride will take Van Buren Boulevard, where some of the riders will head to Riverside National Cemetery to pay their respects, with the remaining riders continuing onto Interstate 215 south to Murrieta.

After arriving in Murrieta, riders will then swing over to northbound Interstate 15 and ride to Lake Elsinore’s Diamond Stadium where Beckham, a singer-songwriter from Apple Valley, who rose to fame in 2021 after winning the 19th season of the singing reality show American Idol, will perform. 

“We’re thrilled to welcome back West Coast Thunder to Diamond Stadium for their annual Memorial Day event,” Mark Beskid, general manager of Storm Events at Diamond Stadium, said. “Their passion for the community and commitment to our nation’s heroes align perfectly with our values, and we’re honored to host them once again.”

For those who want to participate, but who don’t own a motorcycle, concert tickets are available online at http://www.westcoastthunder.com. The event will also feature a car show and a vendor village, with an expanded variety of food options and an increased number of concession stands and food trucks available throughout Diamond Stadium.

Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium is located at 500 Diamond Drive in Lake Elsinore.

According to organizers, the West Coast Thunder Memorial Day Motorcycle Ride has grown year-over-year, bringing more than 10,000 riders and spectators to Riverside, many lining the streets to watch the parade travel through the city.

The foundation is dedicated to funding the American Indian Veterans Memorial, which broke ground in 2020. 

For more information, including how to become a vendor, sponsor, car show participant or to register for the ride, visit http://www.westcoastthunder.com.

Kim Harris can be reached by email at [email protected].

 

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