Time to rally

Burnout Wednesday at the Dime Horseshoe Bar celebrates 40th birthday

 

By Sarah Pridgeon

It started with a broom. When Alice Schloredt shooed a motorcycle out of her bar four decades ago, little did she know that she had kick-started an annual celebration that would become known across the continent and beyond.

The Dime Horseshoe Bar will be celebrating the 40th birthday of its iconic burnout next week with the smoke, cheers and motor revving that everyone has come to expect. But for those first couple of years, in the late 1970s, the Home of Burnout Wednesday did little more than welcome traveling bikers through its doors.

(Nancy Hawken photo) Alice and Jerry Schloredt.
(Nancy Hawken photo) Alice and Jerry Schloredt.

“One day, four bikers pulled up – we hadn’t had a lot of biker business before that. One of them tried to bring his bike inside and was blowing off his wheels and blowing steam, so I took the broom and started whipping him with it and told him: you get out of here with that motorcycle,” says Schloredt, who owned the bar for 25 years along with husband Jerry.

“Everybody laughed so hard. Every year they started coming back and bringing more and more people and, of course, more and more people would see them and stop too.”

A couple of years after that fateful day, the burnouts themselves began – almost on a whim.

“One guy out there said, ‘I’m going to do a burnout in the street’ and I said, ‘I don’t know if that’s a good idea, you might get me in trouble for that’,” she remembers.

“He did a little burnout, dug a little dirt up out of the ground. I thought everybody was going to be mad, but everybody other than me was pretty good about it.”

The Schloredts did their best to keep the event community-friendly, making sure that spirits stayed high and the streets were sparkling clean after the last reveler departed.

“We would go out every night after we closed and pick up every bit of trash – every bottle, every paper. We cleaned up after so nobody ever had a mess,” Schloredt says.

(Melissa Paden photo) An burnout contestant performs for the crowd during the 2016 event.
(Melissa Paden photo) An burnout contestant performs for the crowd during the 2016 event.

“We never had any trouble or problems with any of them at all, they were just regular working people.”

Years later, the burnout stand itself was welded together by Gus Sampson and Tracy Lewis and introduced to the party, quickly becoming the recognizable landmark at the center of rally day in Sundance. Alice herself remains the undisputed queen of the burnout, years after retiring her bar ownership.

“Every year I still get Christmas cards and in the summer they stop by with their families to see me.

I expect to see a lot of them come up and visit me during the rally this year, they come up and say hello,” she smiles.

Schloredt had no idea that grabbing a broom to stop her bar from getting torn up by tires would morph into one of the highlights of the Sturgis Motorcycle Festival. Nor could she have predicted that it would become famous across the nation to anyone with a motorcycle to ride and tires to burn.

“We were in Mexico, dancing on the dance floor, and a guy danced by us and it said, ‘Burnout Wednesday at the Dime Horseshoe Bar’ on his shirt,” she laughs.

“My granddaughter was working up at Carson City, Nevada, and a customer came in and she was waiting on them and saw he had a Dime Horseshoe shirt. She said, my grandparents own that bar!”

To celebrate forty years of popping tires, manager Jacque Huimer will be kicking off this year’s Burnout Wednesday bright and early.

“We’re going to start serving at 8 o’clock in the morning,” she says. The burnout is scheduled for 4 p.m. and the wet t-shirt contest will follow immediately after.

“We will have Phat Daddy playing and we will have specials. Every 15 minutes, free stuff will be given away,” she says.

The swag will include t-shirts, hats, drink cups, promo items from several different brands and, of course, Dime Horseshoe Bar merchandise.

“This is the home of Burnout Wednesday. Other people try to reproduce it, but we were the original,” she says.