SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Thousands are expected to show up in Springfield this week for the Gold Wing Road Riders Association’s annual motorcycle rally, Wing Ding 42.
It’s about to be a busy week on St. Louis Street.
Starting tomorrow, the street will be blocked off for riders until the end of the week.
Around five thousand people from all over the country are expected to attend.
“The great thing about Wing Ding is you’ll meet people here in Springfield, and you’ll go to say, Texas next year where it might be, and you’ll run into those same people, you get to see them and catch up,” said Greg McNabb, owner of Genes Gallery.
“People will be walking back and forth, Honda will have the demo trailer set up with their products inside, and we’ll have some food trucks in the open lot over here, it’ll just be a really big event and a lot of fun for the attendees while they’re here in Springfield,” said Dana Maugans, director of sales at the Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center.
McNabb has been a Gold Wing Association member for almost 40 years and owns the only Gold Wing store in Missouri.
“We’ve been in the business for 31 years, and so we’re a big part of the Gold Wing community and we enjoy that,” said McNabb. “This is their annual event, for Wing Ding, but they’re also state chapters.”
Maugans said the national group hasn’t visited Springfield for about 20 years.
“They held it at the fairgrounds out there, at that time, they had 12,000 people show up back then,” said McNabb.
Springfield is seeing a lower attendance this year due to COVID-19 but is still expecting to bring in 3.6 million dollars of business to Springfield.
“We’ll probably generate 4,600 total hotel room nights,” said Maugans.
Wing Ding 42 is about promoting safety.
“They will have educational sessions at the University Plaza Hotel,” said Maugans.
It’s also a chance to socialize and be creative with bikes.
“All of the lights is a big thing, people drive in and spend thousands of dollars putting lights on their bike,” said McNabb. “If you got a buddy that, hey look, I got this light! Next thing you know, you’re going down to buy that light, because you can’t let him get ahead of you, that’s just the way it is, hahaha.”
And before the event starts tomorrow, Maugans has a message for the Springfield community.
“If you see the Gold Wingers maybe out at restaurants or maybe some of the ice cream places they like to go to, feel free to chat with them, welcome them to Springfield, ask where they’re from, and just admire all the beautiful motorcycles that will be in town.”Dana Maugans
This street will be opened back up on July 3rd in the evening.
But many of the group members will still be in Springfield on the 4th of July, which is usually a slow time for Springfield hotels.