The Neosho Square will hold the city's first Blessing of the Bikes event this spring, when the motorcycle event, being organized by Paul Richardson, brings bikes, bands and vendors to town.
The event is set for Sunday, May 12, and will kick off in the morning with a church service held on the square.
There will also be live music throughout the day, vendor booths, and a nearby beer garden, sponsored by Sam's Cellar.
Then, around 2:30 p.m., a minister will bless the motorcyclists.
Richardson had been involved with the Blessing of the Bikes events held in Frontenac, Kan. in the past, and also with the Choppers for Children event, formerly held in Neosho.
He said the Neosho Square provided the right environment for the Choppers event and he's hoping to use those experiences to benefit the upcoming gathering.
"We had a good ambiance here," Richardson said at Tuesday night's city council meeting. "I'm trying to take everything I've learned from the events over the last 30 years and pick out the highlights and just use them."
He has requested, and city staff approved, that the north side of the square be closed for the event, though Neosho City Council members recommended on Tuesday that Richardson request that more of the square be closed down, in case the crowd is larger than expected.
As it is the first year for the event to be held in Neosho, Richardson said he is unsure of how many bikes to expect, though he noted the first year he was involved with Blessing of the Bikes in Frontenac, Kan., it drew approximately 1,500 motorcyclists.
"I think it's a great event," said Neosho mayor Richard Davidson. "I hated to see us lose the bike event we had years ago."
The council was also approached by Blake Altman, bar manager at Sam's Cellar, who requested the city's permission to host a beer garden in front of the establishment during the Blessing of the Bikes event.
Steve Hays, city attorney, said while the city does have an ordinance against having alcohol on the city's streets, the council also has the authority to waive that if desired.
All but one of the council members voted in favor of allowing the beer garden for the day of the event, with councilman Charles Collinsworth casting the single "no" vote.
Steve Hart, mayor pro tem, asked what security measures would be used that day to address the outdoor drinking area.
"Security wise, we have the ability to cord off the area with metal railings, it would be a one way in, one way out deal," Altman said. "Everyone would be carded. It would be 21 and up only. Our employees would be the ones providing the service. We do have venues to go into hiring security or door people. We've done quite a few other events back in the back and we haven't had any problems."
Page 2 of 2 - Altman said the alcohol would be kept in the beer garden, and wristbands would be used to keep track of those individuals who have been carded.
Richardson said admission to the event will be free and vendors also will not be charged for booth space.
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For more on Tuesday's Neosho City Council meeting, see Thursday's edition of the Neosho Daily News.