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Motorcycle event rolling into Waukegan, not Grayslake

March 12, 2009

Motorcycle event rolling into Waukegan, not Grayslake

Rejected by the village of Grayslake because of safety concerns, a motorcycle show expected to attract thousands of spectators has a new home in Waukegan. 

Ironhorse Roundup Bike Show will be May 3 at Sundance Saloon in the Fountain Square development, about a mile east of Route 120 and the Tri-State Tollway.

Mark Khayat, owner of Austin’s Saloon & Eatery in Libertyville, will host Ironhorse at Sundance. He had intended to make a second attempt to stage the show in Grayslake at the new Lake County Fairgrounds at Peterson and Midlothian roads, but dropped the idea a couple of months ago.

Instead, Khayat turned to Waukegan, where Mayor Richard Hyde said Thursday he looks forward to the Ironhorse show and hopes to catch a ride with one of the motorcyclists. He said the event is projected to attract 10,000 to 12,000 visitors, which will be a boost to area hotels and restaurants.

Hyde said he doesn’t expect any problems with the Ironhorse crowd.

“This is a good, clean group,” he said. “These guys are terrific. They’re all doctors, lawyers, professional people, cops.”

Citing the potential for violence, Grayslake Mayor Timothy Perry announced the village’s cancellation of Ironhorse’s permit two days before the May 4, 2008 show. Motorcycle blessings, food, drinks and seven bands were to be featured.

Information provided to Grayslake authorities from the Illinois State Police’s Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center indicated members of the Outlaws motorcycle club, identified as an international criminal organization, had planned to attend that show at the old fairgrounds near routes 120 and 45.

Plans call for the 2009 Ironhorse Roundup to be in the Sundance Saloon parking lot and neighboring properties where access already has been granted, Hyde said. He said Khayat has to complete some paperwork to receive official permission from Waukegan.

Khayat complimented city officials for working with him to host the show.

“I think we’re going to do really, really well,” Khayat said. “Three motorcycle magazines have given us their covers.”

Alderman Ralph Rivera said Ironhorse is a good fit in the Fountain Square area he represents on the city’s west side. Like Hyde, Rivera expects cash registers to ring at nearby businesses that weekend.

Hyde said Ironhorse organizers will pay for private security and any Waukegan police needed for the show.

Khayat estimated last year’s sudden cancellation cost his business more than $100,000. Out-of-state vendors who traveled to the Grayslake area from as far as San Diego also complained of losses.

Ironhorse was held at Austin’s parking lot off Route 137 in Libertyville from 2005 to 2007, but outgrew the venue.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2010 9:52 pm

    any pics of this event?

  2. goldiron permalink*
    March 9, 2010 9:59 pm

    File a FOIA request with all of the LEAs in attendance. Plenty of pics available.

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