Rolling Thunder (R) is an organization incorporated in 1987 with 90 chartered chapters and an organized protest demonstration with motorcycles that converged on Washington DC to demand from our political leaders a full accounting of our troops that were reported as POW/MIA. The name "Rolling Thunder" comes from a bombing campaign against North Vietnam that occurred between 1965 and 1968. The first Rolling Thunder demonstration was held in 1988 with approximately 2,500 motorcycles. Since then the peaceful but loud protest has grown to include up to a million bikers.
STAR Touring and Riding Members and Chapters have participated in the demonstration since its inception. STAR 474 picked up the duties for organizing a number of events to support STAR members participation in the protest weekend in 2011. Several activities are organized throughout the weekend. These activities are listed below. Links lead to descriptions of the activities.
Registration: We have two ways to register:
Register for all events? Select "Tickets" in the upper right and click on the STAR Rolling Thunder Weekend. This ticket automatically registers you for all the weekend events. This ticket is the cheapest option.
Register for individual events? Click "Tickets" upper right, select specific events and pay for only those individual events.
STAR Rolling Thunder Weekend Events include:
STAR Meet and Greet Dinner - Friday, May 26, 6:00 pm The dinner is being held in the Gunston Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel, Springfield. If this is the only event you are attending choose Register and select the STAR Meet and Greet Dinner Ticket option from this link.
STAR 8th Annual Memorial Battlefield Ride - Saturday, May 27, 8:30 am. Come ride with us to the Wilderness Battlefield where our own Civil War historian will share stories and facts about the battle and the Virginia Overland Campaign.This ride is approximately 140 miles round trip starting at the Hilton Springfield (east side parking lot) on mostly on quiet country roads meandering south and west from the DC area. From beginning to end, this ride is likely to take more than 7 hours. Please plan accordingly. The cost for this event is $25 and you will receive a commemorative long sleeve t-shirt.
STAR Bike Wash Station - Saturday, May 27, 3:30 pm - 8:00 pm. East-side parking lot Hilton Hotel Springfield, VA. This is just a station where participants can clean up their bikes before the ride on Sunday.) Look for canopies. No Cost or RSVP required.
Ride to Thunder Alley & Memorials - Saturday, May 27, 5:00 pm. This is an ride led by a member of STAR 474 down to the Washington DC Mall so individuals can visit Thunder Alley and the Memorials. Thunder Alley usually closes around 7 pm so we want to leave early enough for you to visit the alley and have enough light left to visit several of the memorials. Parking is always in one of the recreation fields near Constitution Ave and 23rd Street. So bring a kickstand puck to support your bike on packed soil and grass. From the parking field the lead will point out the location of Thunder Alley and the memorials and remind everyone that the group will depart to return to the Hotel at around Sundown (8:24 pm).
STAR Escorts for Rolling Thunder, May 28, 5:00 am (info and special requirements provided separately through STAR #474 VET REP. and via Newsletter).
STAR Rolling Thunder Group, May 28, 6:00 am. STAR Touring will ride along with hundreds of thousands of veterans and supporters to help the cause for our government to account for all POWs and MIAs in the annual Rolling Thunder (R) ride through Washington DC. We will depart the Hilton, Springfield promptly at 6 am to ride to the Pentagon North Parking lot where we will hang out until the demonstration begins at noon. There is no cost and RSVP is not required to ride in with this group. Just be there lined up by 6 am.
STAR Backyard Cookout, Sunday May 28, 2 - 9 pm. Participants for the STAR Rolling Thunder Weekend are invited to join us for the STAR Backyard Cookout and relaxation immediately following the Rolling Thunder demonstration. In the past this has been a fun and relaxing afternoon of food and friends in the back yard and inside of a private residence. We will have canopies out back to shade us from the sun or protect us from (that four letter word) "rain" and of course a family room, kitchen and office to hang out in the air conditioning and watch the festivities and speeches.
Note that the Hilton registration form only lists single King bed rooms for selection. Anyone having room needs other than a single King bed, please complete registration using link below. Then, send email to email@example.com along with your confirmation number explaining your room needs. If your dates of stay fall outside of May 26-28, Angela will help with that too.
Hotel Registration Link -- http://group.hilton.com/StarTouringAndRidingAssociation
Those that make reservations at the HILTON using the registration link will also receive two tickets for the breakfast buffet each morning. On Sunday the hotel will produce a box breakfast in place of the buffet so you can grab your breakfast on the way out to the parking lot to ride out to Rolling Thunder and eat it at the Pentagon parking lot.