George’s Ride Brings Triumph from Tragedy


Bikers, chili cooks and chili aficionados packed the Middletown Elks Lodge parking lot.

Bikers, chili cooks and chili aficionados packed the Middletown Elks Lodge parking lot.

by Kathleen Pulek, Middletown Chronicle, October, 2014

Click HERE for the full gallery of images from this event.

What do you get when you take 100 bikers, 30 championship chili masters and a sprinkling of zombies? The answer is the perfect recipe for George’s Ride and Zombie Biker Chilifest – held at the Middletown Elks Lodge on Sept. 21 – an event created from the tragedy of a father losing a son.

George Ryan’s son never got to live out his dreams. He died tragically just two days after turning 19. Continue reading

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Middletown Motorcycle Mania, August 14, 2013


Middletown Motorcycle Mania, August 14, 2013by Kathleen Pulek

Click HERE for the full gallery of images from this event

Presented by Hunter’s Ambulance, Hunter Limousines and the Hunter Family, the 8th Annual Middletown Motorcycle Mania was touted as the largest one-day summer bike event in New England.

It more than lived up to its billing. An overflow crowd from throughout Connecticut and beyond jammed downtown Middletown on a picture-perfect Wednesday evening, August 14th. They came for the classic and custom bikes, to meet up with old friends or make new ones, to visit favorite restaurants or try somewhere new and for the music that ranged from country to rock and roll. They came and they came and they came, totaling over 11,000 people and more than 6,000 bikes according to event coordinator Cathy Duncan of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading

Peter J. Lavery Memorial Run, September 16, 2012


PLMR 091612 001It’s Not How He Died That Made Him A Hero…It’s How He Lived
by Kathleen Pulek

Newington Master Police Officer Peter Lavery wore badge 2523. His end of watch came tragically on December 30, 2004.

And though Newington residents Jennifer Webster and Kristen Johnson never knew Lavery, they brought their daughters to watch the procession of motorcycles in the 8th Annual MPO Peter J. Lavery Memorial Run on September 16th. They joined a large group of spectators who waved and applauded as 500 motorcycles headed along Main Street and onto the Berlin Turnpike.

“It’s important for Samantha to know that people put their lives on the line for us every day, so we came to show our respect. I also want to foster her senses of community and compassion,” Jennifer said. “We’re here to show respect for the people who protect us. My uncle is a police officer and my dad was a Newington volunteer fireman,” said seven-year old Samantha. Continue reading

Motorcycle Mania, August 8, 2012


MCM080812 163They jammed Main Street in Middletown, riders and spectators alike, on Wednesday, August 8th for the 7th Annual Motorcycle Mania.

“This was our best turn out ever. We had approximately 5,500 motorcycles and a crowd of about 15,000,” according to Cathy Duncan, Middlesex Chamber of Commerce Membership Director and the Event Coordinator. “We raised over $11,000.00 that will be used by the Middletown Mentor program, which is run out of the Chamber of Commerce, and Middletown Parks and Recreation. We had approximately 8,000 people in 2011, so we kind of out did ourselves. We’re wondering how we can top this next year.

“As Motorcycle Mania grows, we need more volunteers. Anyone interested should contact Kent Levack, Volunteer Chairman, at klevack@comcast.net,” Duncan said. Continue reading

E.J.K. Car Show – June 3, 2012


EJK060312 007After the weather gods intervened and changed the show to Sunday, June 3rd, Dave and I hit the road to Xavier High School for the Eric J. Kalber Memorial Car Show.

Where to start looking? Within seconds of arriving I was distracted by shiny things, three of them in fact, so the Middletown Toyota display with its trio of new vehicles, became our first stop. We met Lori Heden and Alex Robson, and got an up-close and personal look at the 2013 Scion FR-S, which Alex said was just released to dealerships on Friday. With rear-wheel drive, 200hp boxer engine and six-speed transmission, Scion’s new baby looks like a winner to me. He also showed me a screaming yellow 2012 Scion tC and the cute 2012 iQ, while Lori was kind enough to pose with the cars for Dave’s camera. Continue reading

High Life Creationz 2011 Annual Car Show, October 16, 2011


HLC101611 059Wheels and fire joined forces on a cool fall Sunday at Enfield Fire District No. 1, on Weymouth Road, for a fundraiser to benefit the town’s Fire Association and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “We’ve held pancake breakfasts as fundraisers, but wanted to try something different,” according to Firefighter Steve Smith, Vice President of the Enfield Fire Association. “We had a meeting and decided we should try holding a car show. A friend knew someone in the High Life Creationz car club and it all worked out from there. Continue reading