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Trail of Tears ride to stop in Madison

According to organizer Tabitha Ivey, coordinator, the event’s halfway point in Madison will provide an opportunity for the riders to rest, gas up, get a bite to eat and enjoy the community.

Madison Boulevard will be filled with thousands of motorcycles on Saturday, Sept 17 as participants in the 18th annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride stops in to break during their 100-mile trek.

All of Madison Boulevard will be blocked off on that Saturday for the motorcycle riders. The streets will be lined with Madison residents watching the riders as they arrive between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.  Last year’s event saw over 50,000 participants and according to organizers, this year should be very similar in attendance.

According to organizer Tabitha Ivey, coordinator, the event’s halfway point in Madison will provide an opportunity for the riders to rest, gas up, get a bite to eat and enjoy the community.

“Spectators can come to watch the riders as they come in from Route 72, down Madison Boulevard and arrive at the Old Time Pottery,” Ivey said.

The annual event kicks off that Friday night, starting at 6 p.m. with the annual Five Feathers Rally to be held at the parking lot of the Old Time Pottery, located at 9076 Madison Blvd, which will include the bands J.D. and the Bad Boys and Crossfire. Vendors will be on site selling food and other items including commemorative t-shirts, prints and wrist bands. The bands will also perform Saturday and Sunday night as well.

The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride was established in 1994, to raise public awareness of the 19,000 Cherokee who were placed in concentration camps near what is now Chattanooga, Tenn. and Fort Payne. The 4,000 Cherokee who died and thousands of Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole were removed from their lands on the Trail of Tears.

“A large number of Native American Indians participate in the Commemorative Motorcycle Ride each year,” Ivey noted. “This is a very emotional event honoring the Native American Indians. People love watching the motorcycles and are very impressed by the large number of participants.”

At the end of the ride in Waterloo, there will be official POW WOW events for families, Native American Artists, and vendors. To find out more about the event contact Ivey through her email at Tabitha.ivey@gmail.com.

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