WETZEL — It’s a party with a purpose. The Wetzel Motorcycle Club began its annual party back in 1987 as a mostly private, and by today’s standards, small affair. For the 28th annual party, Wetzelland will crowded with people, spread over the 100 acres in northern Van Wert County. The party proceeds once again will be spread around to various charities. According to Dan McPhail, Wetzel Motorcycle Club made donations totalling more than $50,000 after last year’s party.

Besides the action at Wetzelland itself, Van Wert sees plenty of action. Stores, restaurants, and gas stations see plenty of motorcycles stop in to spend some money in town. It is difficult to calculate in full how much money comes into the area because of the annual party.

McPhail took a cautious tone when asked about the weather, which called for a 50-50 chance for scattered thunderstorms on Sunday and a slightly less change on Saturday.

“Yeah, we’ve had some real battles with the rain out here,” he admitted.

Any rain will be mostly an inconvenience for the thousands of people camped on the property. Of course, motorcycles will be featured, as will parts at the swap meet. “We’ll have a leather vendor, patch vendors, and all kinds of good food,” McPhail reminded.

The entertainment for this party will include The Dogz, 69 Band, and the Burnt River Band. Music will start Friday night at 4 with the evening session featuring the groups Warrant and Firehouse starting at 6. The Saturday night headliner, Scott Stapp, the voice of Creed, will take the stage at 8 p.m.

The annual party requires a lot of effort, but there are a lot of benefits for the club members, the party-goers, and many charities around Van Wert and Paulding counties.

“As soon as last year’s party was over, we waited about a month or month and a half and we started planning for this year,” said McPhail. “We’ve had people from Texas, California, we’ve had people from Australia, they just come from all over. We run between 5,000-8,000 people, it depends on the weather and the bands.”

Admission for the weekend is $50, including free motorcycle parking.