Last updated: June 10. 2014 4:02PM - 258 Views

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The Preble County Historical Society’s annual Bridges, Bikes, and Blues Ride Fundraiser is one of the newest benefit tours in Ohio.

It offers beautiful scenery, small town hospitality, and a rare chance to drive across one of the oldest double-barrel covered bridges in the USA (in Eaton) as well as the opportunity to drive across one of the newest double-barrel bridges in the USA (in Hueston Woods State Park). Organized by and for the benefit of the Preble County Historical Society, the Bridges, Bikes and Blues cruise takes guests on a relaxing 78-mile scenic county tour.

Bridges, Bikes and Blues kicks off on Saturday, June 14, putting Preble County’s rural landscape and historic covered bridges on display. The cruise then transitions into a party and concert complete with smoking hot blues bands, great food, and an outdoor beer garden in downtown Eaton. It will be a great day to cruise all eight covered bridges with plenty of amazing scenery, organizers say. The previous three years of the event have received rave reviews, and the best part is that this tour is not just for motorcycles; all motorized vehicles are welcome to participate.

Arrive at the Preble County Historical Center at 7693 Swartsel Road, Eaton, (off Ohio 122, one mile northwest of Gratis, six miles southeast of Eaton) to register and enjoy the pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. on Saturday June 14. Roll out from the center at 12:30 p.m. Last year over 1,000 bikes registered for the event that crisscrossed the county, visiting historic sites.

Cost is $20 per bike or auto/motor vehicle. The $20 includes eight tickets for raffle prizes and one free t-shirt. Extra t-shirts are available for purchase.

Riders can travel with packs or on their own. The Leisure Ride pulls out at 11:30 a.m. A half-hour later at noon, the Self-Guided Ride pulls out, and finally at 12:30 p.m. the Last Pack rumbles away. Additional packs will be sent out as needed.

Attention runners: for avid runners, a 5K run will be held starting at Eaton High School at 8:45 a.m. with the chance to run across the Robert Double-Barrel Covered Bridge. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., is $20 including a free t-shirt, with medals for the top three finishers in each age group category, and an historic good time running through Eaton.

In downtown Eaton the fun begins after the ride at 4 p.m., with food vendors, merchandise vendors, entertainment, and the street cold beer tent. Blues music starts at 4 p.m. on the Preble County Courthouse Plaza.

John Kogge, Oxford, performs from 4-5 p.m. He starts the blues backed up by his eclectic style from folk, traditional, rockabilly, bluegrass, standards, and classic rock.

Bad Men on a Mission follow from 5:30-6:30 p.m. The mayor of College Corner, Ohio, Jimmy Jackson brings the blues and nothing but the blues. Expect piano, guitar, blues harp, bass and vocals from the 2010 Cincinnati Blues Challenge Solo/Duo Division Winner.

Blue Lou and the Blues Mafia, Eaton, take the stage from 7-8 p.m. This band screams the blues with vocals, guitar, harp, bass, drums, and saxophone.

Ray Fuller and The Blues Rockers headline from 8:30 p.m. to closing. Fuller’s talents as a singer and guitarist have allowed him to share the stage with many blues giants including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy, and many more.

For more information on Bridges, Bikes and Blues, visit the PCHS web site at www.preblecountyhistoricalsociety.com, including bike registration forms, merchandise and food vendor forms, and sponsorship forms.

Call 937-787-4256 for more information or via email preblecountyhistoricalsociety@frontier.com.

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