Fridays Frenzy of Festivities

The Sidecar Showcase

T. Glidewell
Posted 6/13/24

What is better than traveling the roads and experiencing small town life on two wheels, doing it on three wheels if you talked to any of the members of the United Sidecar Association this past …

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Fridays Frenzy of Festivities

The Sidecar Showcase


What is better than traveling the roads and experiencing small town life on two wheels, doing it on three wheels if you talked to any of the members of the United Sidecar Association this past weekend. Unless you were out of town or did not get out of your house, then you were one of the few that missed out on a unique experience.

Iuka was invaded not by motorcycles, but motorcycles with sidecars.

Each one was unique and a sight to see.

The United Sidecar Association held its 45th Annual Convention in Tishomingo County this past weekend and what a joy it was to see riders all over the area.

If you had the chance to talk to some of them, you know they are wonderful members of a good organization. As their website states, “We are all about the fun of Sidecars.”

According to USCA President, Jan Daub, the Association’s members are from every state in the union, most Canadian provinces, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Cuba.

The United States is divided into 7 regions, with each region having its own representative over that area. The conventions rotate from region to region yearly.

This year it was the Southeast region’s turn to host the annual event.

Ace Jones, of Georgia, with assistance from his wife Monica were the planners for this year’s event. This was his first time planning it.

Jones stated they started looking for venues in the fall and a lot goes into finding the perfect place. This year’s convention was hosted at JP Coleman State Park.

They need a place large enough to hold all the attendees, which vary from year to year, along with finding a community that has enough to offer allowing the riders to experience unique places.

Tishomingo County was the perfect fit and the county welcomed them with open arms.

Jones worked closely with Ferrin Rainey, Tourism Director at the Tishomingo County Development Foundation, to make sure the Association had everything they needed for a successful convention.

“It was a very successful rally, great turnout with 175 members attending, fantastic red carpet welcoming by the Iuka citizens and the great facilities at JP Coleman State Park with its manager Gary Ray,” Daub said. “Even the weather cooperated for the rally.”

The members started arriving into town before Friday, with registration beginning on Thursday. The members were given a packet of their itinerary for the week which was full of experiences around the area along with free time to explore on their own.

On Friday, the Association offered 3 guided tours; one to Tupelo, Miss, one to Muscle Shoals, Ala, and another to Shiloh National Battlefield.

Each group had anywhere from 8 to 18 riders. The group who chose to go to Muscle Shoals, had what could be considered the most unique experience. After touring one of the recording studios in the area, they travelled to Rattlesnake Saloon for lunch.

As with any event there are bound to be hiccups. The group that toured Shiloh had a couple of motorcycles breakdown, but this group took it all in stride. Jones led this group due to a scheduling conflict with the original guides. They were able to tour Shiloh, the motorcycles with issues were fixed while some went to grab a bite to eat. They had planned time to rest before heading to Iuka for the opening of the Farmers Market, but Murphy’s Law interrupted those plans.

They headed straight to Iuka to meet up with the other riders for the parade led by cars from the Wheels of Northeast Mississippi car club.

They were escorted into town with all the fanfare including lights and sirens from the City of Iuka Police Department. Sheriff Jamie Stuart held off traffic so the parade could begin at the Iuka Middle School, head downtown to set up for the Cruise in hosted by the car club the First Friday of each month.

Downtown was buzzing with activity and everyone enjoyed seeing the sidecars along with the car club regulars.

On Saturday, members headed to Burnsville to send off the Annual Burnsville Poker Run. The members stayed back and played sidecar games for spectators waiting on the poker run attendees to return.

Their Saturday culminated in a banquet at JP Coleman State Park where the silent auction winners were announced and awards were given out for various categories.

They recognized the oldest rider, furthest ridden, and more.

The oldest rider was 87 years young from Texas riding his sidecar all the way to Iuka; while the youngest rider was an 8-year-old who rode with his grandparents to the rally.

They had attendees from as faraway as Idaho and California.

According to Daub, the United Sidecar Association or USCA was formed in 1976 in Illinois. They are a group of members all about people and having fun.

They are an independent, not-for-profit organization with members as diverse as their owners’ rigs, but they all share a common interest—motorcycles with sidecars.

They are most known for their annual rally, but their member participate in local charitable events, such as, Toy Runs, The Ride for Kids, Muscular Dystrophy Association, along with hosting parties for children with special needs, and any number of other organizations.