‘Back the Blue’ rally could draw big crowd to Orleans on Sept. 12

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 August 2020 at 8:30 am

A “Back the Blue” ride and rally is being planned for Orleans County on Sept. 12 to show support for law enforcement.

Some of these rides in other nearby counties have attracted 5,000 to 10,000 participants, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke said. That large gathering size concerns Bourke, who said a lineup of vehicles stretched 15 miles in the Canandaigua area recently.

“My concern is the amount of people,” Bourke said Tuesday evening at the Orleans County Association of Municipalities meeting. “It is very concerning. Not that we don’t support law enforcement, but we’re going to break every one of the governor’s executive orders on social distancing and crowd size.”

The Back the Blue ride is being promoting on Facebook to start at noon on Route 98 in Carlton at the Fire Company Rec Hall. Vehicles are encouraged to begin arriving at 10:30.

“Motorcycles will go first, muscle/classic cars, cars and pick-up trucks, truckers with rigs,” according to the event post on Facebook. “This is a non-political event but feel free to decorate your vehicles to show your support of our law enforcement.”

Bourke and Undersheriff Mike Mele said the Sheriff’s Office is talking with organizers about planning a route that avoids side streets in villages and keeps vehicles on the main state roads. Bourke and Mele want the group to adhere to governor’s executive orders as much as possible.

Organizers, on the Facebook event page, are encouraging everyone to social distance at least 6 feet apart and to wear face masks.

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