There will be an uptick of motorcycle traffic on Galveston Island this weekend, effective immediately.  By a few hundred thousand.

The Lonestar Rally kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday, celebrating its 12th year.  It’s the largest four day, or weekend, rally in North America with around 400,000 expected participants, many on motorcycles but not necessarily all .

As for the bad weather, one of the owners of the rally Mark Gray says bikers tend to avoid rain and he understands if things get off to a slow start.  Safety is important, Gray says. 

“There’s really nothing you can do, but I guarantee you tomorrow night, we’ve got a lot of stuff going on including in Sangerfest Park for Halloween, we’ve got Zombies, we’ve got the Budweiser stage, and Hairball will be on stage.  They’re an amazing band, they do all kinds of different acts, they do Kiss, they do AC/DC, and they come out looking like these different bands.

Most of the festivities will be concentrated on Seawall Boulevard and in historic Galveston’s downtown district, so expect some street closures.  All parking restrictions are in effect.

New this year is the Celebrity Square “All-Access Pass”.  Four of the stars of “Sons of Anarchy” and Jesse James will be available to rub shoulders, sign autographs and pose for pictures, plus a load of other perks. 

Gray says the culture of biking has changed through the years.  “Bikers are amazing.  Everybody’s friendly and having a great time. You’ve got your doctors and lawyers and just your everyday Joe riding motorcycles because you get on and it’s an instant vacation.  I think a lot of those guys like to get out, they like to go to rallies, and they like to put on the motorcycle gear, so we have seen a change.”

There will be plenty to see with car shows, motorcycle shows, concert and contests, food and fun for days on end.