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Thunder Nites hounded by thunderstorms

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 12:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013 6:39 p.m. CDT
(Matthew Nosco/Daily News)
Gene and Bev West didn't let the rain deter them from attending Thunder Nites, and they brought their dog Bertha out as well. Bertha is considered the mascot for Thunder Nites, according to Gene.
(Matthew Nosco/Daily News)
Rain dampens the second Thunder Nites motocycle rally of 2013. The next Thunder Nites rally is set to take place July 12 and will feature Standing Hampton performing on the main stage.

The Thunder Nites bike rally and concert were met with heavy rain and flash flood warnings Friday night, marking the second concert of the summer series to be faced with poor weather conditions.

Fans still turned out to support the event and listen to the music of Insane Jane, a self-described “classic rock band with all the bells and whistles” from Pella.

The rally and concert series, which is in its second year, brings a concert to the main square of Newton on the second Friday of each month.

The next concert, on July 12, will feature Standing Hampton. Standing Hampton is a power pop and classic rock band with over 10 years of experience from the Des Moines area.

Libbie Marshall, Thunder Nites treasurer, said that the concert series is a great opportunity to draw new interest into the Newton community.

“We get to bring in people who otherwise might not come and then we show them everything that Newton has to offer,” Marshall said. “It’s also a good chance for us to give back to the community.”

As far as drawing in people from out of town, the event is successful. Bev and Gene West of Des Moines, who have attended every Thunder Nites with their over-150-pound dog Bertha, said that they heard about it during other bike nights around Iowa and they consider it to be one of the best.

“We almost needed a boat to make it out of Des Moines tonight, but we weren’t going to miss it,” Gene West said. “Bertha is the official mascot of Thunder Nites, and we normally bring her in our side-car, but we had to take the regular car tonight because there was so much rain.”

The final concert of the season will feature the band Rukkus on September 13.