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New Haven Wants No Part In “East Coastin” Motorcycle Event

Ali Oshinskie
Connecticut Public Radio

Mayor Justin Elicker has a simple message for bikers planning to ride into New Haven this weekend. “Do not come to this event,” he said at a press conference Wednesday.

Motorcyclists from around the region are slated to descend on New Haven on Saturday for East Coastin’, a stunt motorcycle event that’s been hosted by the New Haven-based East Coastin’ Crew for the past four years. Bikers gather to watch and perform stunts and wheelies.

But the city is making clear that the event is illegal and unwelcome.

Elicker said, “We told them last year that they were not allowed to have the event and they went forward and did it, and it had a huge impact on our city and the resources.”

Last year, thousands attended even though there was no permit.

The New Haven police say this year's event is cancelled because the city hasn’t granted a permit.

But there’s debate as to why. East Coastin’ organizers say their attempts to get a permit were delayed. The city says that the bikers didn’t apply in time. Police say they had been in touch with the group since April about a safe way to hold the event.

And now the bikers say it’s too late to call it off.

Police are prepared to stop the event on Saturday if necessary. They say they’ll be ticketing and towing illegally parked cars and if things get out of hand, they’ll make arrests.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public Radio

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali reports on the Naugatuck River Valley with an emphasis on work, economic development, and opportunity in the Valley. Her work has appeared on NPR, Marketplace, and The Hartford Courant.