Blessing of the Bikes held in downtown Fulton

Hundreds of motorcycles line up for a safe riding season

Father Matthew Camaioni of the Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton blesses some of the 200 motorcycles that took part in a"Blessing of the Bikes", in downtown Fulton on Sunday, June 4. The event was started by Jules Meiners of Fulton several years ago and is now a fundraiser for the local food pantry. "It got so big we moved it to the main drag," she said. Clergymen blessed the bikes asking for a safe riding season. Here, bikers listen to the National Anthem before the blessings began.

FULTON – Harleys, Indians, Hondas. Just about every make of motorcycle roared into Fulton on Sunday afternoon for the annual Blessing of the Bikes.

“I don’t know how many bikes are here,” said event founder Jules Meiners, of Fulton. “I have to find a couple of kids to get them counted.”

A sunny and hot Sunday brought out plenty of bikes for the event, which raises funds for the local food pantry and is sponsored by A.B.A.T.E (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education) of Iowa, District 21.

More than 260 motorcycles lined up along the “main drag” in the downtown under a giant American flag hoisted high in the air by a Fulton firetruck.

“Last year, we were able to buy this big, beautiful flag with your donations,” Meiners told the crowd before the blessing. “Our 50/50 drawing will help our local food pantry.”

This year’s winner of the 50/50 donated all but $10 of his $240 share, back.

Meiners started the event close to 20 years ago.

“We started in my driveway. We got so big we moved up to the main drag,” she said. “This is just a way to bless the bikes for a safe riding season.”

Several local clergymen were on hand to bless the bikes, including the Rev. Matthew Camaioni, with the Immaculate Conception Church in Fulton.

The bikes are considered tools of a trade, he said.

“We ask God to watch over them and their riders.”

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 8 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.