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Laconia's Bike Week Kicks Off With Low Attendance, New Mask Rules

Courtesy of Facebook/The Looney Bin Bar and Grill

Laconia Motorcycle Week is officially underway, but with much smaller crowds this year because of the pandemic. Bikers arrived in New Hampshire this weekend to rules for mask-wearing in crowds over one hundred.

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Michelle Watson owns the Looney Bin Bar and Grill in Laconia. She says so far, her customers have observed rules for wearing masks when not seated, and not standing at the bar.

"If people behave today, then we'll keep it open. We're gonna run with it. But if people don't like the rules and get standoffish and argumentative, we'll end up closing up," she says.

In normal times, Michelle says she has close to 200 people on the premises. But this year she's capping it at 75 people. They'll all be seated at socially distanced tables.

What Watson's up against is potential penalties from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. They say they're keeping an eye this week on whether Laconia bars observe state rules, including requiring masks for gatherings of over 100 people.

Watson says with the low attendance this year, she's hoping to bring in 25 percent of what she normally makes during bike week.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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