Grand Marshal for this year’s Annual Trail of Tears Remembrance Motorcycle Ride will be Zach Wamp, candidate for governor of the State of Tennessee. He will ride the Tennessee portion of the ride.
The ride will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, 8 a.m. rain or shine. The Official TOT Kickoff Party is Friday, Sept. 18.
Motorcyclists will need to travel West on Martin Luther King Boulevard to Riverfront Parkway in downtown Chattanooga. Traffic directors will be present to line everyone up.
The 2009 Trail of Tears Remembrance Ride will start in Chattanooga and follow scenic highway 41/72 around Lookout Mountain to Jasper. In Jasper the ride will leave the Drane Hood route and follow Highway 41 to Monteagle. This route is one of the most scenic and historic routes in the state. As the ride comes off Monteagle Mountain it will pass through Cowan, Tn. and on to Winchester, Tn. It will take highway 64 at Winchester which is the Bell Removal route. This route went from Calhoun, Tn. to Memphis. The ride will remain on the Bell route to Fayetteville, Tn. where it will stop for lunch, gas, and restrooms.
Official Trail of Tears Remembrance merchandise will be available during the stop at Fayetteville. Departure will be at 11:30 or 12 C.S.T. West bound off bypass from fairgrounds to US 64 will be motorcycles only.
Upon departure the ride will follow highway 64 to Pulaski, Tn., the only point at which two land removal routes cross; the Benge and Bell routes. This is a very historical point on the Trail of Tears. The ride will continue on Highway 64 to Lawrenceburg, where the Trail of Tears was routed through downtown. Lawrenceburg holds a Trail of Tears reenactment each year in November. From Lawrenceburg the ride will head south on highway 43 to Florence, Al. and the end of the main ride at McFarland Park.
The last stop for Saturday’s official ride is McFarland Park in Florence, Al., at approximately 2:30 p.m. CST.
There is no registration fee. The ride will be police escorted and riders will be required to obey all law enforcement orders. Riders need to remember that helmets are required; they need to keep up with the pack and always stay in the right lane.
The Official TOT Kickoff Party will be held on Friday, Sept. 18, at Thunder Creek Harley Davidson on Lee Highway. The party will feature live entertainment, vendors, food and cold beverages. Visit www.thundercreekharley.com or call 892-4888 for more information.
At the finish in Florence, Al., there will be fun to welcome all riders. The three-day festivities (Sept. 18, 19, and 20) - Native American & Motorcycle vendors, a POW Wow, storytellers, beadwork activities, flute-making opportunities, exhibition dancing and food will be open from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. All area schools are invited on Friday afternoon for a day of education in Native American Culture.
For more information visit www.trailoftears-remembrance.org or call toll free 877 TOT-TRIP (868-8747).