2024 Trailblazers Banquet Eclipses The Sport

2024 Trailblazers Banquet Eclipses The Sport

Heading into April, the national news was non-stop coverage of April 8th’s total eclipse. The Trailblazers figured they could eclipse that hype by throwing their annual banquet, awards ceremony and vintage bike show two days before the moon crossed paths with the sun. Surprisingly, they accomplished just that. Saturday’s event easily outshined the eclipse for any self-respecting motorcycle fan. And you didn’t need blackout glasses to enjoy the Trailblazers’ event.

The Blazers started out by choosing a strong class for 2024. The Trailblazers Hall of Fame inductees included Roger DeCoster, Broc Glover, Mercedes Gonzalez-Natvig, Mike Haney, Walt Fulton III and Pete Pistons. Legends all. To top it off, the Earl & Lucile Flanders Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed to the articulate and passionate Rod Lake who held the banquet hall rapt with his acceptance speech. Friends, that is no easy feat in a giant room full of well-lubricated racers. If Rod was the icing on the cake, David Aldana was the cherry on top. David and his wife became a stand-up comedy duo on stage, but there was nothing funny about the passion and gratitude that David showed to the sport he loves (and to Bruce Brown).

The weather blessed the vintage bike show segment of the evening, there was plenty of time to mingle with all the celebrities before the dinner and the Trailblazers president, Don Emde, did a commendable job of keeping the awards presentation flowing smoothly. 

No wonder this event sells out hours after tickets go on sale every year. And since 2025 marks the 80th year of the banquet, you better have speed-dial set on your phone if you want a seat in the hall.