OHIO VALLEY —Friends are the family we choose and nobody knows this better than the family of bikers.
Once again, bikers from across the area will gather for the 28th Meigs Memorial Day Run this weekend in Pomeroy. The run has become the largest in Southeast Ohio with around 2,500 bikes from seven states attending last year.
The run has expanded into a two-day event which begins on Saturday, May 25 and ends with the run on Sunday, May 26. Rusty Starcher, one of the event’s organizers, said the run remains free to all but a donation of a nonperishable food item will be appreciated and donated to the Meigs Cooperative Parish.
Starcher said this year’s run is approximately 52 miles and will travel the old route with a new twist to honor even more fallen brothers and sisters who have passed away and are buried in Meigs County. After all, the Memorial Run is a time for reunions and remembrances. Starcher said the run will leave Pomeroy, go through Middleport, to Bradbury, Rutland, Harrisonville, Pageville to Ohio 681, then U.S. 33 to Bashan Rd. and then on to Ohio 124 through the villages of Racine, Syracuse and Minersville and back into Pomeroy.
Starcher said organizers wanted to pass by as many of the final resting places of former friends and family who were of the biker, as well as the military community, as possible. This homage to those who have passed on is the foundation for the run which includes those friends who have become family and of course, blood relatives.
For Starcher, his whole family turns the run into a reunion each year and each year he, his siblings and their spouses complete the run together, just as they did when their father, the late Stanley Starcher, was alive. Starcher has brothers traveling from Columbus and Marysville and a sister and brother-in-law making the trip from Mercerville just to be at the run and to have that family reunion, again. The Starcher family’s story is just one of many which include generation after generation riding the route together alongside friends who are brothers and sisters by choice, not birth.
In addition to catching up with friends and family, the run has become a major tourist attraction for Pomeroy with the village allowing a portion of Main Street to be closed to allow bikers to park on the street as well as in the parking lot. This allows visitors to literally walk down Main Street and look at all the bikes up close and personal, making it a fun destination for families as well. Last year, Starcher said there were zero citations issued during the event, no complaints (only compliments from local officials) and local businesses benefited financially from the convergence of 2,500 bikes and those who arrived to see them. This year, the run will even get an escort from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Department through the entire route which is the largest, unofficial parade in Meigs County.
Saturday, May 25 starts with a Poker Run with the last bike leaving at 11 a.m. and sign ups are at the Eagles on Main Street in Pomeroy - the last bike will be in at 5 p.m. with cash prizes up for grabs. Vendors will be on the Pomeroy Parking Lot all day and the bike show starts at around 6 p.m., also on the parking lot. Appalachian Reign will perform at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on the levee. Back Road Remedy takes the stage from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Bike Blessings will also take place Saturday evening.
The run actually takes place on Sunday, May 26 on the Pomeroy Parking Lot. Bikers will leave at 1 p.m. and return to the parking lot to hear South Bound perform from 3-7 p.m. There will also be rodeo games and vendors.
Five different biker clubs and a church group are all working together to put on the run which Starcher hopes tops last year’s record of 2,500 bikes.
For more information find Meigs Memorial Run on Facebook.