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New strongman competition announced for this year’s Steel Horse Rally in Fort Smith

by Thomas Saccente | March 19, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.
Officers with the Fort Smith Police Department visit during a news conference announcing this year's Steel Horse Rally at Fort Smith Harley-Davidson in Fort Smith. (River Valley Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

Residents from both near and far will be able to enjoy a new attraction at an annual charity motorcycle rally in the River Valley this year.

Dennis Snow, founder and president of the nonprofit Steel Horse Rally, announced during a recent news conference the rally will feature the first Steel Horse Strongman Showdown. The rally will be May 5-6 in downtown Fort Smith, with the showdown set to begin at 11 a.m. May 6 in the middle of Sixth Street between Garrison Avenue and North A Street.

Snow said the Strongman Showdown will feature men and women competing against both each other and the clock at the professional and amateur levels, lifting "unbelievable" amounts of weight in the process.

"Now, not only is this a new, exciting event for the Steel Horse Rally; this is a sanctioned event," Snow said. "These competitors on the pro level will actually be competing for a spot to go to the regionals and hopefully, eventually, to the national finals, so it's a big deal. This is going to be so much fun to watch."

Beau Fore, state co-chairman in Arkansas for the Strongman Corporation, a national organization that creates, manages and promotes Strongman events, said the showdown will consist of four events for athletes of different weight classes.

The last event will be the Thor's Hammer Hold, which will pit competitors against each other to see how long they can hold a replica of the weapon from Norse mythology.

Fore said he believed the Strongman Showdown will bring spectacle to the Steel Horse Rally.

"Usually, that's what Strongman is," Fore said. "It's kind of the side circus show of athletes doing things that just don't look like the normal athletic endeavor."

The Steel Horse Rally is dedicated to honoring "all who serve," including members of the military, veterans, law enforcement and first responders, according to its website. The rally also gives donations raised at each year's event to local charities.

At the press conference, Mayor George McGill called the rally a "great tradition."

The rally website states more than 200,000 people attended last year's event, which had an estimated local economic impact of more than $22 million, according to information provided by the Fort Smith Advertising and Promotion Commission.

Snow said the rally selected Antioch for Youth and Family, the Children's Service League and the Buddy Smith Home for Veterans to receive donation money this year.

This year's rally will once again include the Thunder through the Valley Motorcycle Parade, professional and amateur motorcycle racing at the Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., more than 70 vendors, the Cops and Cones Motorcycle Exhibition, and live music and entertainment, according to a March 3 news release.

  photo  George McGill (left), mayor of Fort Smith, speaks next to Steel Horse Rally founder and president Dennis Snow at a press conference announcing this year's charity motorcycle rally at Fort Smith Harley-Davidson in Fort Smith. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)

Print Headline: Steel Horse Rally Adds Strongman Showdown To May Event


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