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(via khou.com) 

GALVESTON — The silence of The Strand Thursday morning gave way to the roars of V-Twins, flatheads and other motorcycle engines. The Lone Star Rally is back, and Mother Nature promises to enjoy the weekend of bikes, leather and the freedom of the open road.

This is the ninth edition of the motorcycle rally, which has become one of the county’s largest events.

Much of the historical district in downtown Galveston becomes a bikers- and walkers-only zone for the rally, which continues through Sunday. The Strand will be shut down to traffic. Parts of 20th through 25th streets also will be closed.

As usual, the rally will feature live music stages and dozens of vendors selling motorbikes, accessories and clothing.

This year’s rally pays tribute to military servicemen and women and the POW/MIA organizations.

Military tribute bikes owned by Gary and Brenda Towers will be on display.

One of the new attractions this year will be the celebrity biker builder lot at Pier 21 at Harborside Drive. The celebrity builders include Rick Fairless, of TRU TV’s reality show “Ma’s Roadhouse,” and “Full Throttle” star Michael Ballard.

Other builders include Paul Yaffe and the crew from Strip Club Choppers. Jay Barbieri, the host of Discovery Network’s “Two Wheel Thunder,” also will attend.

The rally also features a tattoo expo near Pier 20. Organizers say they have a collection of some of the best tattoo artists in the country.

The highlight of the rally is the promenade of motorcycles Saturday afternoon. This year’s grand marshal will be comedian Carlos Mencia, who recently opened a restaurant downtown.

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At A Glance

WHAT: Lone Star Rally

WHEN: Through Sunday

WHERE: Downtown Galveston

ADMISSION: Free

STREET CLOSINGS: 21st Street from the south side of Harborside to the north side of Strand and south side of Strand to the north side of Mechanic.

• 22nd Street from the south side of the alley between Harborside and Strand to the north side of Strand. Access to the Starbucks parking lot will remain open.

• 22nd Street from the south side of Strand to north south side of Mechanic.

• 23rd Street from the south side of Strand to the north side of Mechanic and from the north side of The Strand to the south side of Harborside.

• 24th Street from the north side of The Strand to the south side of Harborside and from the south side of Strand to the north side of Mechanic.

• Mechanic from the west side of 25th Street to the east side of 26th Street.

• 22nd Street from the south side of Mechanic to the north side of Market for Unified Command Center. Access to the drive in window for Frost Bank will remain open.

• Santa Fe Place from 25th Street to 28th Street — parking, motorcycles only.

• 26th Street, between Santa Fe Place and Mechanic — parking.

• Strand from the east side of 16th Street to the east side of 25th Street.

This story was brought to you thanks to khou.com’s partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.

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