• Last modified 385 days ago (May 25, 2023)


Grand Prix to be single-day Sunday

Staff writer

Florence Grand Prix motocross will be a Sunday-only event this weekend instead of a two-day event as originally planned.

Mayor Bob Gayle said the city council approved use of city streets for the race only on Sunday, not Saturday, as originally planned by Flint Hills Bent Rims, which organizes the race.

“I found out the county won’t close down the county roads for Saturday,” Gayle said.

Besides granting permission for the race to be held on city streets, the city arranges for camping during the weekend. This year, camping will be at the football field, Gayle said.

People who want to camp are able to make a reservation by sending an email to

“There still is plenty of room, and the camping fee is $50,” Gayle said.

Bent Rims has five directors, Bruce Skiles, Tobe Moore, Michael O’Dell, Patty Putter, and Ben Bowers.

“We’ve been working virtually a year on this,” Skiles said. “Because it covers 10.3 miles, we are dealing with state, county, and city governments, land owners, and people with special interests.”

Preparation has been “quite an undertaking,” Skiles said.

Over the next few days, all the organizers have to concentrate on getting fences and barriers up, he said.

“Really the one thing I would stress is how important teamwork is on this,” Skiles said.

Sunday’s schedule is:

  • 8 a.m. — Church service at Main and 4th Sts.
  • 8:45 a.m. — Vintage riders meeting and site lap for vintage riders.
  • 10 a.m. — Vintage race begins.
  • Noon — Modern riders meeting and site lap.
  • 2 p.m. — Modern race begins.

Vintage category includes motorcycles from 1985 and older.

Modern motorcycle races will include individuals and teams and special classes for older riders and women.

The original Florence Grand Prix began in 1972 when the city celebrated its 100th anniversary. The race was revived in 2022 for the city’s 150th anniversary.

Florence American Legion, local restaurants including Fuzzy’s Bar, Town and Country, and The Brand’n Iron, and several vendors will provide food.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Gayle said. “It’s a lot of work, but I think it’s wonderful. We’re hoping it will be successful so we can continue doing it.”

Last modified May 25, 2023