One of Airdrie’s most adrenaline-filled events is returning this month, after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in its cancellation in 2020.
The Airdrie Oilmens Association’s (AOA) 10th annual Bikes and Bulls charity fundraiser will run from Aug. 13 to 15 at the Airdrie Air Park, offering attendees the opportunity to check out a weekend filled with energetic entertainment, including drag racing on the air park runway, a classic car show, professional bull-riding and live concerts.
AOA president Adrian Pruden said he’s excited to bring the fundraiser back to Airdrie, after not being able to offer Bikes and Bulls in 2020.
“It’s been a long haul, obviously, with everything going on in the world,” he said. “It’s nice to have a return to a certain level of normalcy and do something here for the community.”
Bikes and Bulls originated in 2010. Since then, the weekend-long event has become one of Airdrie’s most attended public events in the summers, attracting upwards of 7,000 attendees each year.
For its first seven years, Bikes and Bulls was held at the Airdrie Rodeo Grounds, just west of the city. But in 2018, the event moved east over to the Airdrie Airpark runway. The new venue, according to Pruden, offered many advantages.
“The event is truly one of a kind,” he said. “You get the opportunity to see drag racing on an airport runway, which is obviously in your backyard if you’re in the city of Airdrie. It’s a nice mix to have the event with drag racing for motorcycles and cars, and we’ll have a large car show going on inside the event.”
In addition to what organizers call the “Rumble on the Runway,” the event also boasts freestyle moto-cross demonstrations, food vendors, beer gardens and on-site camping options for those who don’t want to head home after all the fun.
A new addition for the 2021 version is the Ride 2 Survive – a motorcycle poker run. According to the AOA’s website, the poker run will take participants through Airdrie, Irricana, Beiseker, Acme, Crossfield, Carstairs, Didsbury, Cremona and Water Valley. Riders will receive draw tickets at each stop, which will give them a chance to win door prizes.
The annual event also has a charitable aspect, Pruden reminded, as proceeds from Bikes and Bulls support North Rocky View Community Links, the Airdrie Food Bank and the Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society. Since the inaugural event, Bikes and Bulls has raised more than $200,000 for the three charities.
Like most public events, Bikes and Bulls was kyboshed in 2020 as a result of pandemic-related health restrictions. Following last year’s cancellation, Pruden said organizers are simply looking forward to offering AOA’s flagship events again this year. Other events put on by the association include a golf tournament in the fall and White Collar Boxing in the winter.
“We hope Airdrie comes out and supports us in full,” he said. “We do have room for sponsorship opportunities if any companies want to put their name out or support the local charities we support through this event. We’re just looking forward to seeing everyone.”
For tickets and more information about Bikes and Bulls, visit aoaalberta.com/bikes-bulls-2021