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Highwood hopes to woo Sunday biker crowd

The City Highwood is hoping attract motorcycle riders town with monthly Highwood Bike Rally events Fort Sheridan Metrtrastation. | AP

The City of Highwood is hoping to attract motorcycle riders to town with monthly Highwood Bike Rally events at the Fort Sheridan Metra train station. | AP file photo

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Updated: August 18, 2013 2:32AM

Next month will mark a decade since the closing of the Highland House eatery in Highland Park, which ended a Sunday morning ritual among motorcyclists.

They would gather by the hundreds in and around the restaurant near Route 41 and Half Day Road to touch base before heading out on their day trips.

Though a Lake Bluff restaurant off Route 41 quickly picked up some of that crowd, the City of Highwood is hoping to pull them in off the highway with monthly Highwood Bike Rally events at the Fort Sheridan Metra train station, 950 Sheridan Road.

“Ever since the Highland House on Route 41 closed, bikers in the area have been looking for a new hangout spot on Sundays,” said Eric Falberg, 4th Ward alderman and chairman of special events in Highwood. “We hope to provide a fun and safe haven for motorcycle enthusiasts, friends and families.”

Promotions for the events, which kick off Sunday, June 23, read: “Get ready for Bikes, Babes, Blues, Beer and Bloody Marys.”

The rallies will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month: June 23, July 28, Aug. 25 and Sept. 22.

Promoters hope to bring in motorcyclists, clubs, friends and families from all over the Midwest.

A party will start the season and special events are planned each month.

During the final session Sept. 22, a Highwood Biker Betty will be crowned based on fan responses, as determined by the loudness of the motorcycle roars as contestants take the stage and announce why they should be the first Biker Betty.

“This biker babe will be the queen of bikers all around Highwood,” reads the promotion, “and will represent Highwood and make appearances at all major upcoming events throughout the year, including leading the Pumpkin Fest Parade with the Garlic Queen.

On July 28, the rally will include a local poker run where participants can hop on their bikes and grab a playing card at checkpoints.

At the end of the run, the rider with the best poker hand will be named the winner. On Aug. 25, the poker run will be held in parts of Wisconsin.

Bike Rally events also will lay the foundation for a new not-for-profit organization for abused women, Margaret’s House, with the goal of raising awareness and money to build a safe house. The organization was started by Chuck Knesley, owner of Chief’s Pub in Lake Forest. A motorcycle enthusiast, Knesley has been instrumental in developing the first annual Highwood Bike Rally.

The Highland House closed in July, 2003 to allow for the expansion of a car dealership.

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