MountainFest begins; 50,000 expected to visit Morgantown

180x115-wajr-amMORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Monongalia County motorcycle rally attracts an international crowd.

“We’ve had them from Japan, Germany, Australia, Spain and Italy and of course a lot of Canadians,” listed Cliff Sutherland, the general vendor coordinator of MountainFest.

The 4 day event kicked off Wednesday evening.

Shauna Davis, the festival’s campground coordinator, said first priority is getting an estimated 50,000 visitors to Morgantown safely.

“There is road construction on I-79 North between the 152 and 155 exit. We caution people to slow down and keep their heads up through there,” Davis noted. “Traffic is open and all lanes are open, but we want to remind people that it is an active construction area.”

Bikers, motorcycle enthusiasts and the curious often take the week for sightseeing West Virginia’s mountains spending money in the region along the way.

“Sales tax collected over a normal weekend equates to ten to twelve million dollars in gross revenue increase in Monongalia County,” Sutherland calculated.

MountainFest, LLC is a 501(c) non-profit group.

“All of the money we raise from MountainFest gets donated to the charities out at Mylan Park – Stepping Stones, PACE, and or projects at the park such as the miracle field,” explained Davis. “So far, to date, we’ve raised about $700,000 for Mylan Park and its charities and hope to continue that.”

Traffic mounts for one of the largest events in the city. Since riders and festival goers also attend related weekend events that aren’t scheduled at the park, a number of law enforcement agencies meet with organizers to plan for coverage.
“There are meetings ahead of time where all police agencies are present. Monongalia Emergency Services Coordinates that,” Sutherland confirmed.

The MountainFest Parade of Bikes is scheduled on Saturday. The motorcycle motorcade begins at 1 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.

Morgantown City Police released a statement regarding parking and the parade route.