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No White Rose Thunder for 2016

Jessica Schladebeck
505-5438/@JessDispatch

After four successful years at the York Expo Center, the White Rose Thunder motorcycle event has stalled.

White Rose Thunder

Larry Racey, one of the founders of the September motorcycle show, said they were unable to secure the York Expo Center for their desired date — which in the past has lined up with York City Bike Night, the  Harley-Davidson Open House and the Jefferson Hill climbs — forcing them to cancel the event before it could hit its fifth year.

"They said they couldn't accommodate us, and they basically put the event out of business," he said.

Racey said he and his partner had a lot of time and money invested in the event and that they would be taking a hit in that regard.

"They said they needed more time to clean up after the fair," Racey said. "They want to make sure the fairgrounds are clean so they told us our dates weren't available."

The event, which usually takes place the weekend after the York Fair, last year downgraded its weekend-long event to a single day "due to limitations for renting the expo facility," according to last year's flier.

Officials at the York Expo Center did not respond to calls for comment.

In the past, White Rose Thunder has featured vendors and a variety of activities, including concerts, demonstration rides, stunt shows and flat-track racing. Racing cannot be done on a clay surface racetrack, which makes finding another local location difficult, Racey said.

"We just can't find another place to hold our race," he said.

The flat-track racing, the main event of White Rose Thunder, brought in a record number of entrants last year and the purse had increased, with the winner raking in more than $11,000.

"We've really had good attendance," Racey said. "We had some bad weather when it first started, but the last couple of years have been very good. It brought a lot money into York — with the hotel bookings and people eating at restaurants, I think it brought a lot of interest in."

Organizers haven't completely give up though.

"If something changes, we will announce it promptly," a message on the website reads. "Otherwise, we can only thank those of you who supported White Rose Thunder."

Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.