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Despite Biker Shooting Hollister Director Ready For 2015 Rally

 Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Hollister Rally Director Mark Cresswell is already thinking of plans for a motorcycle rally next year, despite a biker club confrontation on the fringes of town that ended in gunshot wounds to three victims and an assault to another.

“The event is for the benefit of many, many, many thousands of people,” Cresswell said. “To even imagine that the very few could even jeopardize the enjoyment of thousands is something that we don't even contemplate.”

The shooting was reported shortly after 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Chevron gas station on San Felipe Road at Highway 25.

“I have absolutely no comment whatsoever about anything that was outside the event area,” Cresswell said.

This year's rally brought at least 100,000 people downtown, according to Cresswell’s preliminary estimates Monday evening.

“I think with attendance at 100,000-plus, the general public has spoken,” he said. “We are seeing an event here that's going to see a lot greater audience in the future.”

Changes to the rally this year included no Miss Hollister bikini competition, no biker games and no printed program with the schedule of activities.

“There are a few things that people are disappointed about,” said Charisse Tyson, owner of Johnny's Bar & Grill. “People keep asking me for a program.”

The official website had a list of bands but there were no programs for visitors to pick up at the rally.

“People know now how to get their information electronically,” Cresswell said. “But really, this event doesn't really need a formal schedule of events. There is a complete band listing and music listing (online) that gives you from 9 o'clock in the morning to 9 o'clock in the evening. Everything else can be found by simply turning up.”

This year, some bands were still being confirmed as of late as the week before the rally, which would have made getting their names into a paper pamphlet difficult.

“There's no point in having a fancy glossy magazine advertising that we're going to have stuff ... unless we're 100 percent sure it’s going to happen,” Cresswell said.

Cresswell plans to post more signs downtown next year to help people navigate the rally without a printed schedule.

Another change this year was the absence of biker games. The games weren’t held this year because of space limitations, Cresswell said.

“The biker games actually have very little cost involved. They more have space requirements involved,” he said. “This year – with a lot more vendors - we simply ran out of space.”

Next year, the deadlines for vendor deposits will be earlier, giving event coordinators more time to make arrangements with the city to have a potentially larger space, Cresswell said.

“The company that produces this - which is my company - is committed to a long-term event and sees the second one as first part of a five-year plan,” Cresswell said. “We've got big ideas for the third year but  – again – the idea is the world of eve 

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