All vehicles welcome in Dixie Thunder Run

By Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A motorcycle isn’t necessary to support the troops during the 2012 Dixie Thunder Run.
The event will start from the BancorpSouth Arena on May 26. Sgt. 1st Class Tony Shackleford expects between 500 and 800 bikes that day, but that’s not all.
“All bikes, all cars are welcome,” he said. “This is not just a Harley-Davidson deal. In the past, people have thought that, but they can join with anything. A tricycle? We don’t care.”
The cruise will have a Mississippi Highway Patrol escort when it leaves the arena parking lot at 9 a.m. The destination is Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southhaven, where there will be food and entertainment.
Other cruisers will converge on the site from Jackson, as well as Collierville, Tenn.
“We’re going to have a silent auction with a bunch of sports memorabilia and Harley items,” Shackleford said.
It’s free to take part in the ride, but everyone’s invited to visit www.dixiethunderrun.net to purchase T-shirts and other items.
In addition, there will be a $5 raffle for the chance to win a $2,000 Southern Thunder gift certificate. Chances will be sold for $10 for a 2012 Street Glide Harley-Davidson, and that drawing will be held during Labor Day weekend.
Money raised will go to Operation First Response, which provides emergency financial relief to military members in need.
“They don’t need to be deployed,” Shackleford said. “They just need to be a military member going through financial problems.”
Riders can register at the arena parking lot on May 26, or visit www.dixiethunderrun.net to pre-register.
scott.morris@journalinc.com