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Summer socials include motorcycles, meat, music

Employees and friends of Gilby's Street Department will host outdoor gatherings about every other Friday throughout the summer so bike enthusiasts can visit and check out each other's machines. Left to right: Mitch Frederick, Chris Weber, Rob Bonneville, Kye Gilbertson, John Mistretta and Todd Gilbertson (and his bike in front). Debbie Griffin photo

Gilby's Street Department owner Todd Gilbertson said, "It's all about the bikes here."

He said most motorcyclists enjoy an event where they can hang around outdoors with their bike and visit with others who enjoy the machines. That's one reason he, Gilby's four employees, and friends hosted a gathering 7:30-10 p.m. Friday and welcomed about 200 guests.

The shop plans to hold nine more gatherings like it this spring and summer.

Excitement and the smell of brats filled the air as the group prepared for Friday and the first event. It featured free brats and live music by bluegrass band, The Bad Mittens. Gilbertson said the events are open to the public, and no alcohol is served.

Gilby's builds show and performance bikes; offers service, parts and customization for all kinds of motorcycles plus snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles; and sells clothing.

It has two locations in River Falls -- an older one on the west side of town and the main one where summer events will be held at 1567 Sullivan Court, near the intersection of North Main Street and Paulson Road.

Gilbertson said his business attracts customers from a radius of 100 miles. Each of the Friday events will include a drawing for a trip to Las Vegas.

Gilby's puts into it the names of anyone who's had (and paid for) service in the past month. Jeff Curtis won the first trip in Friday's drawing.

John Mistretta, who does marketing and accounting for Gilby's, says each summer gathering will feature different bands and some type of complementary food.

"On May 14, we're having another concert and people can come and get some free barbecue chicken," said Mistretta.

The schedule and bands for upcoming 7:30-10 p.m. Friday events at Gilby's:

  • May 14 -- Retro Groove
  • June 11 -- Thunderheads
  • June 25 -- Armadillo Jump
  • July 10 -- Twin Cities Jazz Cats
  • July 23 -- After Hours Band
  • August 6 -- Cross Fire Variety Band
  • August 20 -- Armadillo Jump
  • September 10 -- Annie Mack and the Have Nots
  • September 17 -- Kurt Jorgensen Trio

    Mistretta says the events not only help promote the shop but also gives people something to do that includes free music and food.

    "Gilby's will be taking part in River Falls Days with the Twin Cities Jazz Band playing," he said.

    Gilbertson said the events go along with the shop's slogan: "Gilby's, the Happening Place to Be."

    The schedule of free concert events, as well as other activities like the Thursday night dinner-ride schedule, a private party for ATV owners, a spa ride for women and the third annual Terry Dubois Memorial Ride May 22, are posted on Gilby's website: under the events tab.

    Gilby's is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Reach the shop by phone at 425-9322.

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