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Leather & Leavez set Sept. 19 in DL

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines -- the second annual Leather & Leavez Motorcycle Rally departs from the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center at noon on Saturday, Sept. 19. The ride ends that evening at Zorbaz in Detroit Lakes, with food, door prizes, live music and more. Tickets are on sale now at Zorbaz and the DLCCC.

Within the offices of the Historic Holmes Theatre, where "the minds are always turning," according to Development and Outreach Coordinator Becky Mitchell, yet another brilliant idea has proved its worth. On Saturday, September 19, Leather & Leavez Motorcycle Rally will return for its second year of engine-revving success.

After last year's premier event turned up 123 riders from across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, the DLCCC and Zorbaz decided to team up again and make the event annual.

"We just thought it would be fun," Mitchell said of the ride's original spark. "It was also a way to expose our facility to a new group."

The impressive numbers for the initial turnout are largely attributed to the bikers themselves. Several biker publications and rally websites also picked up the event, making the first year a greater success than might have been anticipated.

"They like to ride, and to ride for a cause," Mitchell said.

Leather & Leavez is a Zorbaz event with proceeds going to theatre funds. Each rider and passenger registered in the rally pays a $20 fee, which will go toward events like the children's programming that the DLCCC has placed such a significant focus on.

"We're a nonprofit so we're always looking at keeping the doors open," Mitchell said, adding that the current economy makes it more difficult to keep ticket prices down, something the theatre desires in order to make cultural events accessible to a greater portion of the community.

Leather & Leavez will begin in the Community Center parking lot at 10 a.m. to music and a freewill pancake breakfast sponsored by Country Kitchen. Day-of registration will be available.

"Those that were here (last year) were very impressed with the sight of all the motorcycles," Mitchell said with a laugh, adding that the view had a definite "wow!" factor.

At noon, the National Anthem will be sung, followed by a short prayer, and the riders will take off.

Their tour will take them through fall's lovely foliage to Zorbaz in Pelican, followed by the Ottertail Zorbaz and then Little Pine in Perham, before ending the evening with a final set of refreshments and a live band at the original Detroit Lakes location.

"At each stop the Zorbaz rolls out the red carpet," Mitchell said of the food and entertainment available at each destination along the day's journey.

A raffle will also be run along with this year's ride. One first-prize winner will receive a 47" flat screen TV. Second prize is a Nintendo Wii, and third is a flip video camcorder. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Community Center or from any DLCCC employee. Winners will be announced at the Detroit Lakes Zorbaz on Saturday night.

Pre-registration for Leather & Leavez can be done at the participating Zorbaz locations, at the DLCCC or online at www.dlccc.org. Everyone who registers by September 4 will get a free t-shirt.

"Last year we received rave reviews about our t-shirts," Mitchell said with a smile, adding that it was a tough act to follow but that she had faith in the potential popularity of this year's design.

"Everybody's so happy and positive," she added. "It's a very laid-back event."

With Zorbaz food, crisp autumn air and entertainment along every stretch of the open road, Leather & Leavez is a terrific opportunity to enjoy the season amidst some friendly company while benefiting the theatre and its cultural pursuits.

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