Magic Dragon, Bikefest, Air Show bring massive attendance to the lake shoulder season
Three successful events set the stage for what is turning out to be a busy shoulder season at Lake of the Ozarks.
From the Magic Dragon Car Show Sept. 11-13, to the Lake of the Ozarks Air Show and annual Bikefest, attendance has surpassed expectations.
The Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals held on September 11-13, 2020 rolled out a showcase ofepic “rides”for all to see on the Historic Bagnell Dam Strip. The almost perfect weather allowed for a comfortable distanced crowd, according to Lake Area Chamber Executive Director K. C. Cloke. Hosting over 700 show vehicles along with thousands of spectators for the show and the Hot Summer Nights event that was held the same weekend.
The Street Meet Nationals are generally held in May but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The chamber moved forward with the event, moving it to later in the year.
Cloke said the strip and host site remained active from the early hours of the morning, into the later hours of the night. The event drew thousands of visitors.
“To be able to host this event this 32nd year, considering our current environment, adding the acute focus of everyone’s safety, was a huge success in itself!” stated Lake Area Chamber Executive Director K.C. Cloke.
Attendance at the Lake of the Ozarks Air Show was estimated to have exceeded previous years. In 2019, the organizers moved to an every two-year event instead of an annual air show. This year, in addition to the air show, the event featured the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
Corey Leuwerke, of Lake Aviation Center and one of the organizers of the event said there's no doubt it was a successful show although there is not an accurate attendance count, he said estimates put the attendance throughout the day at 10,000.
"We ran out of parking space and have not seen numbers this high since the early shows in 2012 and 2013," he said."Overall, despite the cloudy weather, the show was a huge success with either a record attendance or close to it.
The Vietnam Wall drew approximately 7,000 people over the course of three days. Leuwerke said because of the popularity of the exhibit, there is interest in bringing it back to the area.
The next air show will be in Sept. of 2002. By that time, a runway expansion will be complete that will allow the organizers to bring in additional events, he said.
Passport numbers for the Bikefest have not been released but lake area lodging, entertainment and dining venues definitely saw an uptick in business during the annual Bikefest.
"It is a very hard thing to determine, as it is with any event that is not ticketed," said Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau Executive Director Tim Jacobsen. "I think it would be safe to say it was a record year and there were more bikers here this year than last year."
The 2019 Lake of the Ozarks Bikefest was held on Sept.11- 15t. Over 100,000 motorcycles and 140,000 people were in attendance. The 13th year of the event saw growth with more bikes, more people and longer lengths of overnight stays.