TIRE HILL —
Rock music by Hot Damn pounding from the main stage wafts over the idyllic setting of Greenhouse Park’s Thunderbash campground as leather-clad men and women gather among tents and motorcycle.
In the main Thunderbash welcome party area, a handful of visitors check out merchandise, have a sandwich or sit looking out over the Stonycreek River water park.
“It’s nice just being outside,” Chris Noon of Williamsport said at a campsite. “We are meeting people from all different states.”
The serene early evening was not indicative, however, of the party that promised to burst out around the main stage as the night progressed. Greenhouse Park’s Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education-sponsored adult biker party is traditionally a late-night affair, ABATE spokesman Mark Walker said.
“It doesn’t cost anything for a motorcycle to get in,” Walker said. “So they come in, get something to eat and check out the vendors. Then if they want go for a ride, they can leave and then come back later.”
Or they can set up camp with the circle of tents along one side of the park and join the camaraderie, said “Diamond” Dave Eutsler of Stuarts Draft, Va.
“The party is here when everything is done in Johnstown,” Eutsler said.
Eutsler said he and his friends look forward to Thunder in the Valley every year.
“We come to Johnstown,” he said. “This is like (Daytona) Bike Week used to be, before it got so commercialized.”
Noon and his group spent the afternoon in Johnstown listening to the bands, sampling some food, shopping some vendors and – most importantly checking out all the bikes.
“I like everything about it,” Amanda Cooper of Lock Haven said. “Everybody is so friendly. I like all the bikes that are here.”
She recruited Noon and Wade Klinger of Williamsport to join the group this year.
“It is unbelievable,” Noon said. “It’s amazing.”
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