Revving up to roar

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The unmistakable thunder of roarin’ engines will reverberate through the Suffolk Executive Airport as the staging begins for the Third Annual Suffolk Swamp Roar Motorcycle Rally around the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

In the early hours of Peanut Fest on Saturday, Oct. 9, bikers will ride the scenic 70-mile perimeter of the Great Dismal, returning to the Airport for a VIP reception complete with down-home cooking and live entertainment by &uot;Juice.&uot; Included in the $25 per person fee, each registered rider and passenger will receive a 2004 Swamp Roar tee shirt and a complimentary all day parking pass to Peanut Fest.

Swamp Roar commemorative pins will be available for purchase on site. All Swamp Roar proceeds benefit nature-based tourism, interpretive and educational programs, and habitat restoration within the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Register for the Swamp Roar by contacting the Suffolk Visitor Center at (757) 923-3880; on-site registration will be offered the day of the event.

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The 2004 Swamp Roar will mark the first appearance of the event’s new mascot, &uot;Hopper.&uot; Hopper is a swamp-smart amphibian whose eco-awareness and focus on preservation and habitat restoration will be featured in future Suffolk Tourism programs designed to &uot;edu-tain&uot; children and families. As an ecology outreach educator, Hopper, will seek to bring the Swamp life to every regional and statewide &uot;lily pad.&uot; Additional friends of Hopper will be unveiled at a later date. Look for Hopper to leap onto the official 2004 Swamp Roar tee shirt and the commemorative pin.

The Great Dismal is one of few remaining American wildernesses and serves as the northern limit of range for many wild creatures such as black bear, bobcat and river otter. With unique habitats and extraordinary cypresses emerging from Lake Drummond, the Swamp provides excellent hiking, biking, and wildlife observation opportunities.

Recently named an official site of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, the Refuge is open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Special group tours may be arranged through the Suffolk Division of

The Suffolk Visitor Center is located in the heart of historic Suffolk in the Prentis House located at 321 N. Main Street. Call (757) 923-3880 for more information, or visit