As a town, we’re ambivalent about this festival. Like all towns that rely on tourism as a part of our economy, we have developed a widespread awareness that it’s about money. There will be debates in the letters to the editor section of the local newspapers about whether the bikers really bring much money into the economy, and whether it counts if it’s all spent in the entertainment district, but I worked in retail here, and we always had lots of bikers coming in to shop for their grandchildren.
That is the demographic. Most of the bikers are older. It is possible that this lessens the chance that there will be a sudden uprising in which the bikers take over the town, declare a king, and establish themselves as the permanent residents. The crime rate doesn’t even go up much; probably not as much as it would if we became a town of 370,000. It just gets nosiy, that’s all.
My husband loves the festival. It’s a big public party. What’s not to like? But there are plenty of people who leave town for the weekend. It’s part of their annual plans: get out of town for the biker festival.
I’m fairly neutral. I don’t like the noise level, and of course I give up all thoughts of getting across town between now and Monday, but I like to see people enjoying themselves.