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BIKER NEWS: Local bikers throw Halloween bash

BIKER NEWS -- WASILLA — With the wet and cold months setting in, motorcyclists need to get in the holiday spirit to warm up. De...

BIKER NEWS -- WASILLA — With the wet and cold months setting in, motorcyclists need to get in the holiday spirit to warm up.

Denali Harley-Davidson hosted its annual Bikerfest — also called “Hogoween” and “Biketoberfest” in previous years — on Saturday, Oct. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. Festivities included a prize wheel for customers in costume, a pie eating contest, and free finger food, in addition to the coffee and chili staff serve at the store regularly.

Hannah and Ivan Pastrano, who live in California most of the year, but have a home in Willow, said stopping at the Wasilla Harley shop is always a “highlight” of their trips to Alaska.

“We always pop in,” Ivan Pastrano said.

A few House of Harley-Davidson employees from Anchorage also popped in for some fun, including Marketing Director Sarah Coe, who described the Valley event as “an extra fun day for customers to come in and celebrate Halloween and fall.”

“It’s something fun for the public that they can bring their kids to,” she added.

Coe said the Bikerfest is not as much as an advertising ploy for the store as something that comes naturally to Denali Harley-Davidson, which doubles as a “clubhouse.”

“It’s a place to hang out,” she said.

And sit on some cool bikes — Coe said not many people know that anyone is allowed to sit on the motorcycles on display to get a feel for the individual hogs, even if they’re not planning on purchasing.

Coe young daughter, Keely, said she was happy about that.

Keely was one of the couple children running around the shop at the beginning of the event, snacking on Clementine pumpkins and banana ghosts. A brand new purple trike on display was one of her favorites, she said.

It was also of interest to Mat-Su HOG Chapter 1836 member Lou Fox, who toted her 8-month-old French Bulldog, Pepper, around the store during the event. The trike wasn’t in the budget for her this year, she said, but she was happy to talk to another customer about the bike with sales manager Daryl Reimers, who was dressed up as the video game character “Slash” with a top hat and plastic Guitar Hero guitar. 

General manager Fred Becker, who probably would’ve won the employee costume contest for his meticulous hippie-biker outfit, said the Wasilla shop is planning to host more community events every month or two throughout the winter, to continue cultivating their individual brand.

“We want the Wasilla dealership to be the Wasilla dealership,” Becker emphasized.

He joked that Denali Harley-Davidson’s French Bulldog mascot (one staff member’s pet), Mr. Frenchie, has more “likes” on Facebook than the store does at the moment, but hopes events like the Bikerfest and their annual Christmas party will show Valley residents they have something special.

Customer Debbie Houseman said the Denali Harley-Davidson already has that something.

“I live in Anchorage but … I spend most of my time here,” Houseman said.

The fact that her boyfriend works at the Wasilla store has something to do with it, she said, but she too said she liked the more clubhouse atmosphere of the place.

As a preschool teacher, Houseman said she was also appreciative of the family-friendly aspect of most Harley events. She’s enjoyed running for Miss Harley, winning a chili cook-off at the Anchorage store last year, and this year making a mini-motorcycle out of pumpkins, glitter, duct tape, PVC pipe and other materials for the Wasilla Bikerfest.

“Harley is always fun,” she said.

This article was first published on Oct 17, 2015
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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Local bikers throw Halloween bash
BIKER NEWS: Local bikers throw Halloween bash
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