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BMW Top of the Rockies Rally in Paonia this week

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Photo by Tamie Meck BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado will bring the Top O' The Rockies BMW Rally to Paonia July 19-22.

The North Fork Valley will see an influx of motorcycle traffic beginning today. Cyclists are arriving in Paonia for the BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado's 47th annual Top O' the Rockies Rally scheduled for July 19-22 at Town Park.

Paonia has hosted the rally the past 27 years. During their stay, hundreds of cyclists will turn Town Park into their base camp, enjoy meals and activities at the Ellen Hansen Smith Teen Center, and participate in rides and activities throughout the area.

The public is welcome to take a close look at the motorcycles (in addition to BMWs, there will be various other vintages and models) and mingle with motorcyclists. Food and other vendors will open at 9 a.m. daily, Thursday-Saturday. Anyone who is not associated with the rally is asked to stay out of the camping/tent area for the privacy, safety and security of campers.

The Beer Garden opens at 11 a.m. daily. Local students will also use the rally to raise funds. They will offer hot and cold breakfasts for sale daily starting at 6 a.m., in the teen center. The Kids' Pasta Project will hold a fundraiser spaghetti dinner from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the Teen Center. The meal has always sold out in the past; tickets are available at the door.

Rally Registration is sponsoring two blues/rock bands at the park shelter. The Shawn Pittman Band will bring the sounds of Austin rock and blues to the park at 7 p.m. Friday. At 7 p.m. Saturday, dance the night away to the blues and hot vocals of the Ally Venable Band.

Closing ceremonies begin at 6 p.m Saturday. Several awards, including the oldest, youngest, and farthest traveled riders will be presented, and a few interesting stories will be told.

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