Motorcyclists race to Bike Night in Farmington
By Kaylie Harper
Published: Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Located along Route 40 in Pennsylvania's scenic Laurel Highlands mountains, the historic Stone House Restaurant and Inn in Farmington has quickly become the premier destination for hundreds of local bikers.
Every Thursday night, weather permitting, the Stone House transforms its parking area into a biker's paradise for its Bike Night event. Beginning at 6 p.m., the festivities run from May to October and offer a variety of attractions.
“We want to keep our local bikers happy,” said Christine Schaney. “They know they can count on us to throw a fun, family-oriented event with live entertainment and great food. We have the best barbecue in the Laurel Highlands.”
Schaney, director of sales, marketing and public relations, often operates the Bike Night prize booth.
“This is a wonderful event that encourages camaraderie,” Schaney said. “The adults like to participate in our drawings, and the kids love to see all the different bikes.”
All in attendance can register for free drawings throughout the night. When chosen, the winner spins a prize wheel featuring a variety of items, including bandanas, beverage cozies, flasks, sets of glasses, playing cards, Stone House gift cards, T-shirts and more.
In addition to the wheel drawing, prizes are occasionally shot into the crowd from the restaurant roof. Guests can purchase tickets for the weekly 50/50 drawing, too.
In keeping with the event's community-driven purpose, proceeds from the drawing are often given to a local charity.
“The Stone House is all about giving back to the community in any way we can,” said Schaney.
Recently, the proceeds helped benefit charities such as Alexandra's Butterflies of Hope, Dreams Become Reality and a local constable suffering from cancer.
“Bikers in the area, especially Harley riders, will often go out of their way to attend bike-focused charity events, “ said Jeremy Critchfield. “They love riding, but they're also very big on supporting the community. It's what they do.”
As chef and part owner of the Stone House, Critchfield created the event that began its first season on July 12, 2012. Serving barbecue was always a dream for the gourmet chef who spent 20 years working in five-star dining.
“This is a welcome change of pace,” Critchfield said. “The roadside barbecue stands I frequented during my four years working in Georgia were really one of my biggest inspirations for implementing Bike Night here at the Stone House.”
During the event, Critchfield's team operates a 21-foot smoker he brought north from Georgia in the parking lot. Throughout the evening, a variety of barbecue favorites are available for purchase, such as ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork and sausage.
They feature their signature Hog Fries, which consist of their homemade barbecue and cheese sauces atop a bed of fresh fries and pulled pork made in their smoker.
Adult beverages are available for purchase. Victory Brewing Co. of Downington was on hand recently, conducting a beer tasting.
Blending the Stone House's long history of country charm with the modern, rock 'n' roll biker scene didn't phase Critchfield.
“This event feels like its been here since the Stone House opened in 1822. We simply transplanted the restaurant and inn's existing friendly atmosphere and hospitality to the parking lot,” Critchfield said. “A lot of these bikers consider themselves neighbors, because they share a common interest. Holding something like this locally just makes sense.”
For more information about Bike Night and the Stone House Restaurant and Inn, visit www.StoneHouseInn.com.
Kaylie Harper is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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