A traffic jam is predicted for the Rail Trail
A traffic jam is predicted for the Rail Trail

The excitement is building at the Bikes, Burgers and Beverages event

ALBANY COUNTY — The second edition of Bikes, Burgers, and Beverages opens on Thursday, July 18, from 5-7 p.m. along the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail in Albany County.

The popular event is scheduled to be held annually and this year will stretch from the Real McCoy to the Blanchard-Currey American Legion in Delmar and on to Voorheesville Park.

“We learned a lot last year,” said Teri Olsen-Spina, president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce. “Last year it was very popular and we expect it to be much bigger this year.”

Last year, the Bikes Burgers and Beverages event along the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail in Albany County was so popular that organizers said they had to host it a second time. You can get there on foot or by bike. If you don’t have a bike, you can probably find bikes provided by the CDPHP through the CDTA. The event is scheduled to stretch from The Real McCoy to the Blanchard Currey American Legion in Delmar and extend into Voorheesville Park.

The event invites artisans, civic organizations, food trucks and businesses to participate. Both Chamber members and non-Chamber members are welcome to secure a spot. The public can attend for free, making it an open outing for all.

“Our Rail Trail welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, providing entertainment for everything from walkers to joggers, runners to cyclists,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “Bikes, Burgers and Beverages are another reason for people to get out, enjoy the outdoors, support local businesses and enjoy great food and drinks.”

A number of activities are available for visitors, including biking and hiking the trail, sampling food and drinks from various vendors, and exploring a display of vintage cars. The Blanchard-Currey American Legion serves burgers and drinks, while The Real McCoy hosts the “A Piece of Heaven” food truck and the Kona Ice Truck offers sweet treats.

A few cyclists found their way to last year’s event by biking along the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail on a bright sunny day. Photos by Rachel Dottino Spotlight News

For cycling enthusiasts, there will be a mountain bike demonstration by the Flow Riders and a skills course. There will be various booths set up by artisans, vendors and nonprofits, including local favorites like Plushies by Chey, Sweet Tooth Confections and the Elsmere Fire Department. Businesses like Community Bank, Bethlehem YMCA and Key Bank will also participate.

The event includes a scavenger hunt in partnership with ART (Art on the Rail Trail). Participants can pick up a booklet at the Bethlehem Chamber booths, collect stamps from vendors, take photos along the trail and exchange them for a prize.

Entertainment will include live music with performances by Mike Miner at The Real McCoy, sponsored by Holcim, and the Steven Hallock Duo at the American Legion, sponsored by LiveWell Group. Additionally, SkyPhotos LLC will conduct a drone demonstration and bicycle safety training and a bicycle obstacle course will be offered to promote safe cycling.

This event provides a unique opportunity for the community to come together, enjoy local food and entertainment, and celebrate the summer season in a vibrant setting.

“You know, (the Rail Trail) is a place for people to gather,” Olsen-Spina said. “It’s a place for people to exercise, and it’s also a place to share art. It’s so wonderful to have in our community, and our members benefit tremendously from it.”

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Michael Hallisey is senior editor of Spotlight Newspapers.

By Everly