Motorcyclists expected in Franklin while taking statewide tour

Published 7:59 am Friday, April 9, 2010

Franklin will be one of 82 stops for the second annual Motorcycle Grand Tour of Virginia, which kicks off Saturday.

The stopping point will be Franklin Depot/Visitors Center in the downtown.

“I think it’s great,” said Dan Howe, executive director of Downtown Franklin Association, which operates the visitors’ center. “It’s just another piece of the puzzle for everything we’re doing toward boosting tourism.”

As of Wednesday, 375 had signed up for this year’s self-guided event, which runs through Nov. 1. Participants can get stamps in tour passports for visiting any of the 82 stops, which makes them eligible for prizes.

Prizes donated by local merchants include a $45 gift basket from Franklin Southampton Economic Development, $25 gift certificate from Boykins Beans & Ice Cream Restaurant, $25 gift certificate from Peanut Patch, five tickets valued at a total of $25 to the Cheroenhaka Indian County Pow Wow, $20 gift certificate to Southern Sisters Restaurant, $40 gift certificate to Grey Fox Restaurant, $25 gift certificate and T-shirt from Fred’s and a $45 gift basket from Hubs Peanuts.

“The 2010 Motorcycle Grand Tour is a motorcyclist’s dream, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said event publicist Pamela Jewell. “This year’s Motorcycle Grand Tour provides a great opportunity for riders and passengers to explore the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway along with all the other regions of Virginia.”

Locally, Howe said there is a lot to see.

“We have a lot of natural resources and there’s a lot of history,” he said.

To participate in the 2010 Motorcycle Grand Tour of Virginia, riders and their passengers can register online at For a $25 registration fee, registrants receive an official Grand Tour T-shirt and passport.

Completed tour passports must be mailed and postmarked by Nov. 1 to be eligible for ride prizes.

The Motorcycle Grand Tour of Virginia is a statewide tour of Virginia, coordinated by the Governor’s Motorcycle Advisory Council, the Virginia Motorcycle Dealer’s Association, Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association and the Virginia Tourism Corporation in an effort to promote motorcycle tourism, safety and awareness.