Roar on the Shore is just over a month away. But organizers of the event tonight, found themselves in a heated argument with local bike clubs.
Emotions were running high at Sullivan's Pub Wednesday evening, as Ralph Pontillo of the Manufacturer and Business Association (organizers of the event) and Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott met with over a dozen motorcycle clubs to discuss this years policy.
Organizers were initially looking at a "no colors" policy, which would forbid bike clubs from participating in the event, if they wore their clubs vests, which are also known as "colors."
Members of each club voiced their concerns, saying they should be allowed to wear their colors, because there have been little to no problems at the event in the past.
"To my knowledge, in six years, there hasn't been any issue between clubs," said Bikers Against Child Abuse President Chad Zaczyk. "We don't know why all of a sudden this year, they think there is going to be an issue."
However, according to Pontillo, organizers initially were discussing the policy as a safety precaution. A main concern, is that the event would attract outlaw bike clubs, which organizers believe could lead to violence.
"We wanted them to understand our concerns about safety, that it's a community event," said Pontillo. "It's designed to raise funds for a charity and as long as that remains the focus, and it's about that...than it's all good to go."
In the end, the two sides came to an agreement and bike clubs will be allowed to wear their clubs colors at this years event.