Jackson, N.J., July 17—In the summer of 2005, multi-talented artist Richie “Pan” Panarra decided to throw an appreciation party for customers of his tattoo shop, Dark Star Tattoo. Of course, friends and family partook in the celebration, and for the next five years, the party, always held on the Panarra property, grew until the Panarra family decided to take a little time and regroup, with the intention of hosting a different kind of celebration to which everyone would be invited. Sadly, in June 2015, Richie Pan met an untimely death before the plans came to fruition. A year later, his widow Cindy, along with good friends Tommy Von Rothinfink, Fat Bob and others, decided that now was the time, hence the inaugural Richie’s Panstock held in mid-July.
Live entertainment for the party was lined up by Stephen Murafsky, who also did some heavy promotion on social media starting months before the event. There was even a pre-party the night before at Cornerstone Kitchen & Tap in Jackson, with discounted drinks, finger foods, and just a tiny preview of the mayhem planned for the next day.
Tickets for Richie’s Panstock were $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, for which attendees could enjoy a full day of activities, and included vendors, food and drink, a bike and art show, and music. A $100 VIP pass got you all that plus an event T-shirt, limited-edition event poster, beer coozie, Dark Star Tattoo decals and other goodies, plus access to the VIP tent.
Although it had rained the night before, Saturday’s weather was sunny and very, very warm, drawing folks from all over the map. Many wanted to pay tribute to Richie and support his family as well as the Aidan Jack Seeger Foundation, while others just came to have a good time with friends. No one left disappointed.
Live music blasted all day, with Patty Lou & the Ingrates taking the stage first, followed by Full Throttle and then Rory Kelly. Inside was an art show, with George the Painter and his brother Jimmy a.k.a. King Shit showing their creations, while Tom Birardi Jr. of Tom’s East Coast Photos showed his work. And along an entire wall was artwork created by Richie Pan himself.
One of the day’s highlights was the old-school bike show for pre-1984 motorcycles and judged by Paul Cox, Tim Vanberbas and Tommy Granger. Over 50 bikes were entered, and each received a handmade Panstock place crafted and donated by HBK Restorations. There were Shovelheads, Knuckleheads, Flatheads, Sportsters, and half of the bikes were Panheads, a fitting tribute to Richie Pan whose Panhead Viola was on display. Bob Timko won Best Pan with his ’48, taking home a trophy hand made by 47 Industries and consisting of Panhead parts out of Richie’s garage. The consensus was that this was the Panhead that Richie would have chosen.
Volunteers consisting of friends and family cooked up and set out tons of food and beverages, and attendees could walk around and visit the vendors that included Old Bridge Militia Foundation, Indian Larry Motorcycles, Bull Dog Customs, HBK restorations, Phenomenon Designs Pinstriping, 47 Industries, A.T. Metalcraft, sponsor Hecht Trailers, major event sponsor Ocean County Harley-Davidson, and more. Other sponsors included Meatheads Subs & Sloppys and Rider Insurance. The generous souls who donated giveaways and volunteered for various tasks were too numerous to mention, but are much appreciated.
More than a thousand people showed up to enjoy this spectacular day, which was a wonderful tribute to a great man. Planning is well underway for next year’s event, which could turn out to be a weekend party complete with camping and even more fun. Thanks to the Panarra family, friends and volunteers, and see you next year!