KVUE — Get ready to rumble, Austin. It’s already that time of year again where thousands of motorcycles flood Austin area streets and highways as they participate in the annual Republic of Texas Biker Rally.
On Wednesday evening a number of downtown Austin businesses had already put out the welcoming signs as they anticipate thousands flooding the central area over the next four days.
“Just a bunch of people wanting to have a good time and enjoy their bikes; wanting to enjoy good food and let loose," said Lillian Knape with Old School Bar & Grill on 6th Street.
About 60,000 people participated in the ROT Rally in 2012. An estimated 200,000 showed up for the big parade on Congress Avenue Friday evening. However the crowds this year are expected to grow by 10 percent.
Organizers with the ROT Rally told KVUE Wednesday that the stronger economy is why they are anticipating a larger turnout this year.
“They're good for a lot of local businesses. They spend a lot of money so my suggestion to this is just be patient and be nice, be a good host. We double our staff and our inventory and stay open later. Like I said, it's one of our best nights of the year,” said Moosa Meschin, the owner of Cozzoli’s Pizza on Congress Avenue.
The ROT Rally brought in an estimated $36 million into Austin’s economy last year.