Originally Published by the New Hampshire Union Leader. (Re-Posted with permission)
(Editor’s note: According to N.E. Area Superior, Fr. Jim Taggart, OMI, Fr. Dan Nassaney, OMI will be blessing the bikes at the new location)
Blessing of the Bikes headed to Groveton’s Speedway 51
By JOHN KOZIOL Union Leader Correspondent
GROVETON — Billed as “New England’s fastest high-bank, quarter-mile track,” Speedway 51 is getting ready for the start of the racing season, as well as becoming the new home of a North Country tradition: the annual Blessing of the Bikes.
Speedway 51 in Groveton was bought at auction last December by Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier, Vt., and on June 26, 27 and 28, it will be the home of the Great North Woods Ride-In, an event that culminates in the “Blessing of the Bikes.”
Starting in 1976 and through 2014, thousands of motorcyclists from throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Canada would annually come to the three-day Ride-In, which began and ended at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace.
Dedicated in 1948 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the shrine is on 50-plus acres on the Columbia/Colebrook town line on both sides of Route 3. The shrine features more than 50 marble and granite monuments, among them a sculpture of “Motorcyclists in Prayer.”