MUSKEGON, MI – Rebel Road is roaring back into downtown Muskegon this summer with its old format – including at least one beverage tent with live music on Western Avenue, and five days of festivities.
Last July, the motorcycle rallies beer and music were forced to move to Hackley Park due to social district rules on Western Avenue – renamed Rebel Road for the event.
However, state legislation signed into law Thursday, March 10, allows Rebel Road to have a special event license inside the social district, Kyleen Gee, event organizer and executive director of the Child Abuse Council, told MLive.
That means the beer tent with live music will return to the parking lot across from Muskegon’s downtown arena.
“It’s super good news,” Gee said. “That’s where the event should be.”
All proceeds from the motorcycle event benefit the Child Abuse Council.
Uncertainty about how the move to the park would be received prompted a decision to shorten Rebel Road to three days in 2021, Gee said. As it turned out, she said, the event sold the second highest amount of beer since Rebel Road launched in 2015.
Related: Festival lineup in Muskegon this summer includes return of some favorites
This year, Rebel Road is back to five days, from July 13-17.
Another benefit for attendees this year is that Rebel Road will be extended farther along Western Avenue for better connection to Hot Rod Harley’s Muskegon Bike Time event, Gee said.
Compared to years past, more vendors, activities and bike parking will be available between Third Street and the area of First Street, she said.
There may even be a second beverage and music tent in that area, Gee said.
Uncertainty about the social district rules has delayed some planning for the event, she explained.
Gee estimates 60,000 and 80,000 people will attend Rebel Road this year.
“By all accounts, what we’ve been hearing is this year will be a big year… all indications are that this will be a booming festival year,” she said.
Muskegon’s social district extends along Western, from Pine Street to Seventh Street, and allows patrons of participating establishments to purchase specially marked alcoholic beverages and carry them outside throughout the district.
More good news regarding the social district came last week when a liquor license change made it possible for Rad Dads’ Tacos and Tequila Bar to become one of those participating establishments. Because it previously was covered under the Mercy Health Arena liquor license, Rad Dad’s was prohibited from joining the district.
Related: Temporary closure of Rad Dads’ in downtown Muskegon needed for it to join social district
This year’s Rebel Road will begin Wednesday afternoon/evening, July 13, with its normal beverage and music offerings, Gee said. Previously, that day was set aside as a family-friendly day.
This year, family-friendly events will be scheduled throughout the five days, she said.
In addition to more “new and fun events,” Rebel Road will have more vendors and food options due to its extension to the First Street area, Gee said.
A veterans salute will return on July 14 after a one-year absence.
Camping also will return to the parking lot of West Michigan Dock and Market, known for short as the Mart Dock.
Muskegon Bike Time is planned for July 14-17 at the Hot Rod Harley motorcycle dealership, 149 Shoreline Drive. The motorcycle event includes live music, on-site camping, bike show and more.
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