Get your motor running for a return to the Coal Bucket Saloon on New Year’s Eve

For 15 years, the MountainFest Motorcycle Rally at Mylan Park was hallowed ground for the get-yer-motor runnin’, four-stroke, air-cooled, V-Twin, teardrop tank, two-wheeled, acolytes of the open road.

You had your motorcycle stars, such as Kyle and Cody Ives – the stunt-riding, Wall of Death-defying siblings from Georgia, whose dad was pals with Evel Knievel, his own bad self.

And your guitar-heavy musicians: Joan Jett, Peter Frampton and John Kay and Steppenwolf (“Born To Be Wild”) all played concerts there.

Don’t forget your powder-coat Picassos.

Wizards of welding, they were.

Fabricators from another universe, whose one-of-a-kind, two-wheeled creations had rally attendees torquing their cell phones for selfies.

What MountainFest really throttled up, though, were the personalities of the attendees who simply liked measuring the milestones of life via the vantage of the handlebars.

They planned road trips and whole vacations around the rally.

Nancy and Butch, a couple from Oregon, pulled their deluxe Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide out of the driveway of their ranch house in a Portland suburb – and didn’t stop until they hit Chaplin Road, Mylan Park and MountainFest.

Heck, it was only 2,633 miles, Butch said, grinning.

Weasel and Hell, Yeah (not their real names) did one even better.

They became husband and wife on the main stage one year, with their “vrooms-men” done out in Harley T-shirts and their bridesmaids resplendent, in bikinis and leather chaps, for the wedding.

And everybody with a bike during the MountainFest run grooved on the scenery, the hilly roads and the glory of the straight stretches — especially those, because, as John Denver said, there just aren’t too many of them to be found in these topographical climes.

“MountainFest made us a destination,” said Jamie Summerlin, a longtime community booster.

“That’s why we want to see what happens on New Year’s Eve.”

He’s referring to the Dec. 31 extravaganza at the Hazel and J.W. Ruby Community Center, for a fleeting return to MountainFest.

To do so, a popular venue of the rally will be recreated.

“New Year’s Eve at the Coal Bucket Saloon,” goes from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. that evening, with a concert by MountainFest fan favorites, Amish Outlaws and more.

You can browse the custom bike and MountainFest museum, Summerlin said, while enjoying a catered meal by the Mason Jar Saloon and a champagne toast at midnight.

Triple S Harley-Davidson is the presenting sponsor, and Summerlin, who owns the Morgantown event-planning firm Guidon Creative and has helped promote MountainFest over the years, said the Coal Bucket revival just might kick-start a return to the rally, as well.

“That’s what it’s about,” he said. “Gauging interest.”

After all, he said, MountainFest roared with interest for 15 years.

“It brought people in who contributed to the economy,” he said, “and it was a real showcase for Morgantown and our state.”

Proceeds will benefit the Mylan Park Foundation, which helps oversee the expanse.

Visit or the rally’s Facebook page for all particulars.

Tickets may be purchased online for admission, and for something else, Summerlin said.

“You’ll want to get your raffle ticket for the giveaway,” he said.

And not just any giveaway: A 2023 Harley-Davidson Custom Road King giveaway, built by Triple S Harley-Davidson.

Only 1,000 tickets are available, Summerlin said, sold at $50 each.

You need not be present to win, he said, but the allotment is limited and once the giveaway tickets are gone – they’re gone.

Summerlin is thinking Christmas gifts, since every list contains a motorcycle enthusiast.

“Be a great stocking-stuffer, huh?”