What started decades ago as a way for John and Jill Parham to thank customers of their fledgling motorcycle parts and accessories business has grown to an event expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors this weekend to Anamosa.
The J&P Cycles 34th annual open house rally will be held Saturday and Sunday at the company's corporate headquarters off Highway 151. The event has expanded over the years to become one of the largest two-day gatherings of its kind in the Midwest.
Last year, more than 30,000 motorcyclists and spectators traveled across Iowa and the nation to attend what has become a family affair.
"They have added a lot of events that children can participate in," said Mike Dunn, a motorcyclist and president of F&M Bank in Anamosa, Cedar Rapids and Manchester, who has attended the two-day event in recent years.
"It's an amazing event that John and Jill started out there. I can remember a year like this when rain complicated things, but it still attracted a heck of a crowd.
"It's also phenomenal to see the number of people who go through the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa. You need to spend four or five hours in there to really do it justice."
This year's J&P Cycles open house will feature 110 motorcycle equipment and accessory dealers displaying the latest merchandise. Discounts will be offered on most J&P Cycles products in the showroom and clearance item prices will be reduced as much as 50 percent.
Two of the actors from the television show "Sons of Anarchy," Ryan Hurst and Tommy Flanagan, will attend the event and sign autographs — Hurst 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and Flanagan 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.Camp Courageous of Iowa volunteers from Monticello will operate beverage stations for donations, and free food will be available.