MOULTRIE — The throaty roar of motorcycles echoed among the downtown buildings Friday night, marking the return of Bike Night on the Square.

Bikers from around the area — Tifton, Thomasville, Albany and even Smithville — rode to join Moultrie motorcyclists for an evening of socializing on the Courthouse Square. The event is held the fourth Friday of each month from early spring through early fall. Friday’s was the first of 2008.

Bike Night on the Square started last April, according to Holly Vazquez, one of the organizers.

“We just wanted something to do in Moultrie,” she explained.

Her husband, Tony Vazquez, said there’s no charge for anything, but the bikers do donate to keep the event going.

“Each one [Bike Night] just pays for the next one,” he said.

The Vazquezes provided hamburgers and hot dogs Friday night.

“And they were good hamburgers and hot dogs too!” said Mack Prater, founding member of Warriors of Faith, a Moultrie-based Christian motorcycle group.

They must have been. Holly Vazquez said they’d fixed 80 hamburgers and 80 hot dogs, and by a little after 8 p.m. some of the bikers were going to local restaurants because the free food was all gone.

Margie Prater — Mack’s wife and another founding member of Warriors of Faith — said 106 motorcycles came to Friday’s event — up from 60-70 at last year’s Bike Nights.

Margie Prater said the purpose of Bike Night was simply to get together with other bikers to fellowship. In response to the same question, her husband included the Christian element of their group.

“We’re here to minister to people, kick the tires and talk about motorcycles,” he said with a grin.

“All your bikes are conversation pieces,” Margie Prater acknowledged.

Bike Night is intended for all bikers, Holly Vazquez said, but it seems to attract Christian bikers in particular. In addition to Warriors of Faith, three branches of the Christian Motorcycle Association (Tifton, Thomasville and Albany) were there Friday, as well as the Heaven’s Saints, another Christian motorcycle group from Albany.

Secular groups represented were the Independent Harley Riders Association and Hog Groups from Tifton and Albany.

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