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Rolling Thunder to end Washington ride after next year

Rolling Thunder to end Washington ride after next year
Posted at 5:10 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 17:10:03-05

Rolling Thunder, the annual event where hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists come to the nation's capitol to honor service members killed in action or taken as prisoners of war, will hold its last event in Washington next year.

The last ride will be next Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday, May 26, 2019, a spokeswoman for the organizing group confirmed to CNN.

Organizers said the costs of putting on the national ride have become prohibitive, with last year's event costing about $200,000 in various related expenses.

"It was a tough decision for us to make," spokeswoman Nancy Regg told CNN.

Instead of the gathering at the nation's capital, there will be regional events organized by various chapters to honor those killed in action or who were prisoners of war, according to the group.

Next year will mark the 32nd ride in Washington since the event was first held in 1988. Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at the gathering in 2016.

The riders start at the Pentagon parking lot, ride over a bridge into DC, circle the National Mall and end by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.