There were untold millions of dollars of motorcycles in downtown Johnstown this weekend and untold gallons of ink tattooed to the skins of their riders.

Contests on Saturday at People’s Natural Gas Park highlighted some of the most notable bikes and tattoos.

Best of Show for the motorcycle contest went to Mark Kush, of Johnstown, and his 1947 Harley-Davidson.

“It’s nice to know people appreciate old stuff,” Kush said.

Kush competed with 17 others, including Ken Obvenovich, of Ohio, who put on a show by shooting flames from his bike’s tailpipes.

The array of mostly customized motorcycles in the contest was parked near the entrance of one of downtown Johnstown’s bars, which was highly trafficked all day as the sun added some sunburn to many of the tattoos judged Saturday.

The tattoo contest, judged by the noise made by the couple hundred spectators, came down to two U.S. military veterans.

Runner-up Melissa Richards, of Monroeville, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

But the winner of the contest was Duke Griffin, a U.S. Army veteran from Duncansville and member of the U.S. Veterans’ Motorcycle Club.

His tattoo was a simple outline of Pennsylvania and the number 22 on his right forearm to signify the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day in the United States, according to statistics from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

After the contest, Griffin said he served eight years as an Army medic.

“Our club, the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle club, is about reducing the number of veteran suicides by promoting brotherhood and resources for veterans to get help,” he said.

While the trophy for his tattoo was nice, he said, the real victory would be when veteran suicides ended.

“It needs to end,” he said. “We need to let veterans know there is more than what they think is out there for them.”

Russ O'Reilly is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @RussellOReilly.

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