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The Thunder in the Valley Motorcycle Rally in Johnstown, Pa., has become the first U.S. rally to be sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme North America.

The 19-year-old rally features concerts, motorcycle demo rides, bike parades, guided rides, an AMA-sanctioned National Gypsy Tour, the American Motor Drome Wall of Death, Ill Conduct Harley-Davidson stunt team, vendors and more.

FIM North America is one of six Continental Unions recognized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme. The American Motorcyclist Association and the Canadian Motorcycle Association are members of FIM North America and participate in the governance of the Continental Union.

“We are thrilled to be able to sanction such a well-established and successful event as the first FIM North America rally in the United States,” said FIM North America President Marilynn Bastedo, who also is chief executive officer of the Canadian Motorcycle Association. “The sanction places the Johnstown event in front of an international motorcycling audience through the FIM North America website and on the International Motorcycling Federation website. We hope that this marks the beginning of a long relationship with Thunder in the Valley.”

For several years, FIM North America has sanctioned the Blue Nose Rally in Billtown, Nova Scotia. The sanction moves to the United States for 2016.

Commemorative pins will be distributed at the American Motorcyclist Association booth during the rally.

“We are so honored to receive this prestigious sanction,” said Lisa Rager, Executive Director of the Johnstown Convention & Visitors Bureau, the organization that operates the rally. “We have worked very hard the past 19 years to build this rally up to receive national recognition, and now, to have this sanction and international recognition is very special.

“Johnstown does a fantastic job of welcoming motorcyclists, not only during Thunder in the Valley, but throughout the year,” Rager added. “We look forward to showcasing our community to a world-wide audience.”

The 2016 edition of Thunder in the Valley is scheduled for June 23-26. More information about the event is available at johnstownthunder.com.