The above photo came from this page in the 1955 official program for Motorcycle Week but was taken around 1952.
The Mayor proclaims Motorycycle Week and boasts “…many thousands of Motorcyclists come to our city to take part in these events, which are now considered the largest in the nation…”. After the 1965 Weirs Beach riot, the event became more and more condensed until it was generally referred to as “Motorcycle Weekend”, until organizers in the early 1990’s made many improvements and brought back the longer “Motorcycle Week”.
A downtown Laconia parade of Motorcyclists. Playing at the Colonial Theatre that afternoon was the movie “River of No Return” starring Marilyn Monroe. Since this movie was released in April of 1954, the photo was undoubtedly taken in June during the 1954 rally. As is typical of many yearly publications, the photos that appear in them are usually taken the year before the issue date.
After a decades-long hiatus, many Motorcycle Week activities have recently returned to downtown Laconia. As the photo caption notes, Laconia was to be honored with a visit from President Eisenhower on June 23, 1955.
President Eisenhower visiting the Laconia Tavern. No motorcyclists are evident. Apparently they did not want to “stay over for a few days and help [Laconia] celebrate”. Eisenhower was definitely not a biker type of guy!