A summer tradition in Middletown is being called off.
It was announced Motorcycle Mania will no longer take place because of rising security costs.
The event drew thousands from all over the region.
“I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was going to happen. To say the least, I was depressed,” said Rich Greco.
A lot will be missed according to Greco, the event’s chairman.
“Meeting new people there that show up, talking to people that have come in the past, talk about how much fun they’ve had the previous years. I developed a lot of friends and friendships through that,” said Greco.
Over the years the event had grown from 500 bikes to 6,000 last year, along with a crowd estimated at 15,000.
“It’s a very busy day. It’s a good day for the whole business on Main Street Middletown,” said John Cecunjanin.
Cecunjanin owns Fiore, as well as Presto Pizza which just opened on Monday.
“Especially now with two businesses, definitely lose some business but I hope the reconsider it,” said Cecunjanin.
In fact the popularity of Motorcycle Mania helped lead to its downfall.
In a recent statement announcing it would no longer be hosted here, the mayor and local chamber of commerce wrote in part:
“The event, which ran for more than a decade and drew tens of thousands of visitors each year, had grown so large that the cost of providing security has grown to an unsustainable level.”
While there had been no previous problems here, Greco says security – which was paid for by the city – had been a growing concern for the past few years.
Now organizers are thanking everyone who made Motorcycle Mania so successful.
“I’m sorry to see it go. It was a great run,” said Greco.
Organizers say part of the key to the event’s success was the location: a nice, wide Main Street, as well as plenty of nearby restaurants.
And while they say while there is talk of moving it elsewhere, it won’t be the same.
Greco says on Monday two other communities in the state expressed interest in hosting the event this year.
The City of Middletown says it will sponsor another event this summer.
This post was originally posted at http://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Middletown-Motorcycle-Mania-to-End-Over-Security-Costs-504344501.html.