Bikers and music lovers are invited to Columbia County on Saturday for the Freedom Ride 2008 Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival.
"It is going to be a little bit different, no doubt about it," organizer Tom Clark said of the event he hopes will become an annual gathering. "We think it is going to be a good fall event."
The motorcycle ride is scheduled to start 1 p.m. Saturday at Augusta Harley-Davidson on Belair Frontage Road. Registration begins at 9 a.m.
The ride will wind through Fort Gordon to the Columbia County Fairgrounds on Columbia Road.
Tickets cost $15 or $10 for military personnel.
Proceeds benefit the Army Emergency Relief Fund, the Jenny Clark Scholarship Fund and the Warriors in Transition Fund, which assists Iraqi veterans receiving medical rehabilitation at Fort Gordon.
"Anybody can join the ride," Clark said. "But the biggest thing is it is not just for motorcycle riders. It is for anybody. Even if you are not in the ride, you can come out to the Columbia County Fairgrounds and buy a ticket for the music festival and come on in."
The festival of Southern rock and biker bands runs from 2 until 11 p.m. and features area bands The Jeremy Graham Band and Shameless Dave and The Miracle Whips. Also on the schedule are Southern Mischief, the D.B. Bryant Band and Swamp DaWamp.
Free camping areas will be available at the fairgrounds Friday and Saturday evenings.
Clark, the director of Georgia's Fatz Cafe restaurants, said that at 4 p.m., he and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun will present 15 wounded soldiers with $100 Fatz Cafe gift cards.
Any business interested in a corporate sponsorship can became a "Friend of the Fort" with a $500 donation.
"Be a Friend of the Fort and send 50 soldiers to the concert," Clark said.
Food and product vendors will be on site and a late-night breakfast buffet will be available Saturday for a minimal charge, Clark said.
"If the community supports it, it could turn into something really special," he said. "It has so much potential."
To arrange a corporate sponsorship, become a vendor, or for information, call Clark at (706) 825-9151. For additional information and a schedule of events, visit www.freedomrideusa.org.
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