Saturday afternoon, Aug. 17, Lakin Avenue was blocked off between Main and Kansas streets for the 2nd Annual Blessed Bike Rally at Jack Kilby Square. Rows of motorcycles were on display along Lakin Avenue, including the one used to transport bride Erin Seever to the bandshell stage where she was wed to “Little” Jon Dannebohm by Mark Williams, the Senior Pastor of the Cross Winds of Kansas Bikers Church.
Victor and Yvonne Link founded the church three years ago with 20 to 30 followers who met for services at Veterans Memorial Park. They met outdoors one Sunday a month, and in the winter met in the courtyard of the Best Western motel in Great Bend. Recently, the former Four Square Church building became available in Hoisington, Yvonne said, and the congregation now meets weekly, with the occasional outdoor summer park service.
Saturday’s rally included bike blessings, play at the splash pad, inflatable bounce houses, a people’s choice bike show, and, for the kids, a sidewalk chalk art contest and a scavenger hunt that included numerous biker-related finds including patches and fringed gear.
Bikers for Christ is the motorcycle club most of the members are affiliated with, and the club has a reach across most of the Midwest, including Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas, Yvonne Link said. They are welcoming to other biker groups and work to create a supportive environment for members who are battling problems with addiction.
“We are prepared to stop, drop and pray,” Yvonne said. “And you’ll notice, there’s no alcohol at this event. Many of us don’t have a problem with alcohol, but this is a family event, so it's not here. We aren’t judgemental.”
Cross Winds organized its first bike rally last year, not realizing it was the same weekend as the City of Great Bend’s Party in the Park. This year, they made a point of avoiding that weekend.
“We’re very appreciative of the City of Great Bend for allowing us to block off the street and have the event again this year,” Yvonne Link said. “The merchants along Lakin have also been supportive.”
Later in the afternoon, live music was provided by Christian rock bands Forgiveness 490 from Nebraska, followed by God’s Dirt from central Ohio. The event wrapped up at 6:30 p.m. Sunday morning, Cross Winds Bikers Church will hold an outdoor service at the bandshell at Jack Kilby Square. Coffee and donuts and fellowship starts at 9:30 a.m. with service starting at 10:30 a.m.
Photos by Veronica Coons