Local roadways may be a bit busier than normal this weekend as over 200 members of the Red Knights International Motorcycle Club are flocking to Culpeper for the group’s annual Dixie Rally.
The Red Knights, which consists of current and retired volunteer or career firefighters and emergency technicians, has chapters throughout the country and focuses on fundraising for charitable causes.
The Culpeper chapter has about 11 members and raises money for two primary causes including the Central Virginia Burn Camps that provides a week of activities for statewide young burn survivors. The local club also fundraises for the Carney Strong Initiative, which aims to provide rural fire departments with equipment that prevents carcinogens from negatively affecting firefighters.
Proceeds from registration fees and a silent auction at the Salem Fire Department will be donated to those two causes.
Robert Beebe, a Red Knight for 19 years and member of the local chapter, explained that Culpeper is one of the smaller towns he has seen used as a home base for the Dixie Rally but has a record number of registered riders.
Participants are coming to town from all corners of the country with riders set to arrive from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Georgia and Indiana.
Culpeper Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Jeff Say said the chamber is excited that Culpeper will be welcoming the crowd of motorcyclists. The chamber contributed some of its members’ items that will be presented to the visitors.
“This should be an extremely well-received visit and we’re excited to welcome them to Culpeper!” Say said in an email. “We hope they enjoy their stay and come back in the future!”
On Friday, the bikers will ride from the Salem Fire Department to Madison, visit the Stonewall Harley dealer and cap off the day with a tour at the Belmont distillery. On Saturday, they take a 150-mile round trip and pass through Front Royal, stop at Cooter's Place for lunch in Luray, pass through Elkton and come over the mountain back to Culpeper.