The roar of the thousands of motorcycles has dimmed and downtown
Hollister has regained its hometown charm.
The record number of visitors
– reportedly as high as 120,000, almost four times the
population of Hollister – that poured into San Benito County for
the three-day Fourth of July weekend have been gone for a couple
weeks now.
The roar of the thousands of motorcycles has dimmed and downtown Hollister has regained its hometown charm.

The record number of visitors – reportedly as high as 120,000, almost four times the population of Hollister – that poured into San Benito County for the three-day Fourth of July weekend have been gone for a couple weeks now.

The clean-up was over in hours and there were no major criminal incidents directly related to the Hollister Independence Rally. Solid planning by organizers and terrific policework can be cited there.

No doubt the many vendors and a fair number of local business owners are still counting their loot from the Rally visitors, who, as evidenced by their thousands of shiny new Harleys, brought fistfuls of money to spend.

Just as important, several worthy charities in our area were helped during a difficult economic year.

So a good time was had by all and let’s roll out the red carpet for next year’s eighth annual Hollister Independence Rally, right?

Not so fast.

Traffic was an unavoidable nightmare. Security costs will rise dramatically next year. Many of our local residents don’t appreciate the garish and borderline obscene competitions and memorabilia.

The 24-hour noise itself surely sent many residents off to the hills and beyond for some peace and quiet, and just about any semblance of an All-American Independence Day celebration was dashed with the exception of the fireworks at Marguerite Maze Middle School and the Kiddie Parade.

So the lines have been drawn. Many towns would give their right landmark to have so many people roll into their burg based on a moment of history, real or exaggerated.

Others could care less and would run the scruffy bunch out on a rail.

This much is certain. If the City Fathers and Mothers want to dump the Rally, they better get moving on it.

It is on a path to get larger, noisier and costlier. But if it continues to be well- planned by organizers, it will also increase its cut of cash to many local businesses and charities, along with putting Hollister on the map as a national destination.

Plus, it’s hard to argue against the Rally being a lot of fun for those who are into that kind of thing, which certainly includes many locals as well.

What do you think Hollister and San Benito County residents? Should the Rally stay or go?

Please send us letters, faxes, e-mails – signed or unsigned – at the addresses and numbers listed below with your opinion on this rip-roaring issue.

And we guarantee that both sides will be interested to get your feedback.

To respond to this editorial or comment on this issue, please send or bring letters to Editor, Hollister Free Lance, 350 Sixth St., Hollister, Calif. 95023 or fax to 637-4104 or e-mail to [email protected]

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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