The 90th annual Laconia Motorcycle Week has a distinct sound that revs and rattles throughout the Granite State during the nine day rally, but over the years “bike week” has also become known for its unique taste.
“We do a lot of eating at bike week,” Jennifer Anderson, director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said laughing.
During the event, vendors set up temporary stands along the Loudon racetrack, selling chicken tenders, soft pretzels, fried dough, sizzling pizza and seafood to patrons who watch sports bikes orbit the track.
Laura Gaudet, an employee at the Loudon Race Track, commented that anything with meat including cheeseburgers and hot dogs are huge sellers throughout the week.
Jean Kugler, of Milwakuee, sat at a picnic table in the sun enjoying a hot dog and soft drink on Friday afternoon.
"My husband and I have been enjoying the food here all week."
She specifically said that an Italian restaurant that she and her husband went to was superb.
According to Anderson, local restaurants in the area sell a lot of seafood throughout the week:
"We have a lot of people traveling from landlocked states and so lobster rolls and clam chowder are always very popular and specific to New Hampshire’s bike rally."
Businesses located along Weirs Beach also cater to riders during the week, local restaurants hosting live music events and competitions to welcome patrons to their establishments. The southern shore of Lake Winnipesaukee acts as the pulsing heart of the bike rally, and businesses in the area reap the benefits.
According to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who spoke at the kickoff of “bike week” to warmly welcome riders to the state, the event brought $100 million dollars into the New Hampshire economy last year.
Much of that profit is felt in Weir’s Beach, where frequented ‘hot spots’ include the Laconia Roadhouse, Paradise Beach Club, Weirs Beach Lobster Pound and the Naswa Resort.
Cynthia Makris, president of the Naswa Resort, noted that their establishment caters to thousands of people over the course of the week:
"On the busiest days we serve upwards to 1,500 people per day. Our 83 rooms are also filled throughout the entire week."
Makris agreed that seafood was among the most desired entrees offered on their menu. Among the favorites are a seafood risotto, fried calamari, New England stuffed haddock, coconut shrimp and baja tacos.
This year the Travel Channel visited the Naswa Hotel, where they filmed an episode designed around the 90th anniversary of bike week and will feature barbeque foods in addition to heaping platters of seafood.
"Bikers eat very well this week. We make sure we are feeding them well."