Ready To Roar: Steel Horses ride in to River Valley May 6-7

Ready To Roar: Steel Horses ride in to River Valley May 6-7

You don’t need to ride a motorcycle to enjoy the Steel Horse Rally May 6-7 in Fort Smith, promises Dennis Snow, its founder and president.

“It’s designed to be family-friendly,” he explains, “and there is no admission charge for the majority of the events.”

Snow points to Cops and Cones at 10 a.m. May 7, an exhibition in which law enforcement officers invited from multiple states ride their motorcycle units through a precision motorcycle course, as one of the great events for families. And he touts the Thunder Through the Valley Motorcycle Parade, which will hit Garrison Avenue around 4 p.m. May 7, as “quite a sight to behold.” “We fly under a huge American flag,” he says, and with as many as 135,000 expected for the rally, “you’ll meet some great people from all over the country and see a lot of your neighbors, too.”

In an interview with Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette River Valley reporter Thomas Saccente, Snow said he was pleasantly surprised by the turnout in 2021 after covid concerns forced the cancellation of the event in 2020. The economic impact last year was estimated at $19.6 million, he said, and the rally has given more than $100,000 over the years to various River Valley charities, this year focusing on Antioch for Youth & Family, The Fort Smith Boys Shelter and the Children’s Service League. It also provides nonprofit groups free vendor space at the rally, he added, and he expects more than 70 commercial vendors to populate a vendor village in the 800 block of Garrison Avenue.

Snow likes to remind people that almost all of the Steel Horse Rally events are free, including live music the evening of May 6 and all day May 7, culminating with headliner Messer on the Steel Horse Rally Main Stage in the parking lot at 601 Garrison Ave., across from First National Bank. The only ticketed event is the Steel Horse Rally Shootout May 6 at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., a mix of professional and amateur dirt track motorcycle racing complemented by a micro wrestling show.

Founded in 2015, the Steel Horse Rally is dedicated to honoring “all who serve,” Snow also reminds, including veterans and members of the military, as well as First Responders such as law enforcement and firefighters.

“It’s amazing to see people of all ages come out — entire families, multiple generations, coming to this event,” says Snow. “There’s something for everyone to enjoy — a great time for a great cause!”



Steel Horse Rally

WHEN — May 6-7; Thunder Through the Valley Motorcycle Parade is at 4 p.m. May 7 & headliner Messer performs at 9 p.m. May 7

WHERE — Downtown Fort Smith with dirt track bike racing in Pocola, Okla.

COST — Free except the biking racing


Categories: Cover Story