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Arts & Entertainment 4th Annual Ruby Bash benefits local charities

Dozens of leather-clad bikers rolled into the typically quiet Rose Creek Campground in Macon County for last weekend’s fourth annual Ruby Bash Rally.

Located about six miles north of Franklin, the event braved the elements on Aug. 24 and 25, as it got down to business by holding a second annual Toy Poker Run for Toys 4 Tots, a tattoo contest sponsored by local parlors, Ink Junkies and Estelle, and of course, a bike show.

Every year for the last three years in late August, the Ruby Bash biker rally has been an event for charity in Macon County, sponsored by the Dedicated Bikers of Western North Carolina. With the Smoky Mountain Rumble, also held in Franklin, the event carried on the influx of motorcycles seen on Macon County roads.

Organizers Ronnie Smith and Karen Flowers said that the event was, as usual, a great time.

Tattoo work was on display from Franklin’s own Nick Darracott, owner of Ink Junkies Tattoo Parlor.“So far this has been pretty fun,” said Smith amid a field of shiny black and chrome bikes as local country group the Hoss Howard Band warmed up. He said that with the Rumble, there had been some confusion about whether or not the Bash was still on. “We’ve had some people get confused about the location, showing up at the fairgrounds and asking us where [the Bash] was at. But so far they are coming in. We have a lot of good people here that are doing good things for the community and having a good time while doing it.”

Indeed the event was more than just a reason to show off one’s bike.

On Friday as local bands Zorki and Faded Wreckage played at the head of the event, event-goers were busy with a toilet paper relay or signing up for the Toy poker run and tattoo contest. The following day, despite the rain, bikers held their toy run as a DJ and karaoke took the stage. The bike show and a gun raffle followed as the Hoss Howard Band played. During the show, Smith asked Flowers to marry him. She said yes. “It was a very successful weekend,” said Flowers.

“I came to support the rally,” said Ink Junkies proprietor Nick Darracot, who came with his wife and mother-in-law not only for the tattoo contest, but also for the bikes. “It’s good to have something like this in Macon County.”

“The Ruby Bash Rally gets better each year,” said photographer Lou Weigel, who attends the event each year. “It is an honor and privilege to be able to attend them and shoot everything that happens. Ronnie and Karen put in a lot of long hard hours getting the rally together.”

Tattoo contest winners (partial list)
Best Black and Grey - Mike Handley
Most Creative - Kelly Plohm

Bike Show Winners
Custom - John Mcully
Cruiser - Mark Stanfield
Metric - Tara Rice
Best In Show - John Wolf

Gun raffle winner
C.l. Hensley

Toys for Tots is a cause near and dear to the U.S. Marines.The Hoss Howard Band from Jackson County (top photo) and Zorki from Cashiers entertained the biker enthusiasts at the 4th Annual Ruby Bash. Photos by Lou Weigel and Karen Flowers



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