It should be no news flash that harley-davidson is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year or that The Motor Company is throwing itself a birthday party in its hometown of Milwaukee over Labor Day Weekend. While the details of Harley’s celebration are still being finalized, we’re ready to join the party. The official festivities start on Thursday, August 29, and last four days. A parade is scheduled for Saturday, August 31.
As in past years, the four days go by pretty quickly, thanks to all there is to do and see. Of course, there’s the Harley-Davidson Museum, which is open 9 am—9 pm daily, where there will be a free outdoor celebration. Anybody making the pilgrimage to Milwaukee, who’s never been to the museum, needs to put that on his schedule. On Saturday, pick up a ticket and hop over to the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee for the UFC 164 Harley-Davidson Hometown Throwdown.
Music is such a big part of Harley culture, and what good is a party without a live band, right? H-D went way above and beyond with this year’s musical lineup at the Summerfest grounds and at the Marcus Amphitheater. The Marcus features Toby Keith on Thursday, Aerosmith on Friday, and Kid Rock on Saturday. A separate ticket is required for those shows. What’s amazing is the bands that are playing at the Summerfest Grounds, access to which is included as part of the 110th Commemorative Celebration Ticket Package. There’s 60 bands in all, and some of us have actually paid over $100 in the past to see just one of them. The only foreseeable problem with so many bands is that several of your favorites might overlap. We will definitely be checking out our buddy Pat Simmons and The Doobie Brothers at the Briggs and Stratton stage on Thursday, August 29th at 9 pm.
It’s hard to guess how many enthusiasts will take part in this memorable celebration of our favorite motorcycle manufacturer, but estimates put the number somewhere around a quarter million people. The party will feature special commemorative ceremonies, exciting live entertainment, and much more. (For updated information on all the various events and attractions visit H-D.com/110.) Will you regret not being there? We won’t!
With the successes of our previous group rides to Milwaukee for the 90th, 95th, and 100th anniversaries under our kidney belt, we’ve put together the American Iron Magazine Honor Ride sponsored by GEICO Insurance. Our celebratory ride is something we’re putting together for staff, readers, friends, and friends of friends. In case you haven’t figured it out, the good folks at GEICO have generously signed up as our lead sponsor.
This year, we’ll actually be doing two free rides, an East leg and a West leg that will meet up and roll into Milwaukee together. Those coming from the West will join Motorcycle Bagger Editor Dain Gingerelli and AIM Managing Editor Joe Knezevic at Blue Springs Harley-Davidson in Blue Springs, Missouri. Those coming from the East will join Editor-In-Chief Buzz Kanter and Editor Chris Maida at AD Farrow Harley-Davidson in Columbus, Ohio. Because we love our vintage iron, Buzz is going to be riding one of his classics. We invite anyone who wishes to cruise at a more relaxed pace, on a modern or vintage bike, to ride with Buzz. Each starting dealership is having a welcome reception on Sunday afternoon, August 25.
The following morning, each group will hit the road for its own unique overnight adventure and lunch stops. PLEASE NOTE that there have been changes to our previously printed plan. First, the East start point will now be at the North Star location of A.D. Farrow in Sunbury, Ohio not the Columbus location. Also, the Eastern ride will now be stopping at Quaker Steak & Lube for a lunch buffet on Monday, August 26, instead of the Harley dealer originally announced. Both groups will then meet up at Walters Brothers Harley-Davidson in Peoria, Illinois, on Tuesday night, August 27, for what should be a great East meets West party and dinner. Then on Wednesday morning (August 28), we’ll leave as one large group (rest assured, Buzz will continue to lead his group the rest of the way) from Walters Brothers with the goal of arriving in Milwaukee that evening so we can all get settled in before The Motor Company festivities kick off on Thursday, August 29. Check back with us at AIMag.com and on our American Iron Magazine Facebook page for any last minute updates.
We invite you to ride along for the entire trip, a day, or even just a few hours. You can also catch up with us at any of the scheduled stops for a bit of fun or to meet the staff. Participation in this ride is free, and we will be offering affordable, limited-edition T-shirts on the ride and on GreaseRag.com while supplies last.
Please note that you are responsible for making your own hotel and/or camping arrangements along the way, (Note: a limited number of rooms have been blocked off in American Iron’s name at nearby hotels listed in the details). It’s particularly important to plan ahead for accommodations in
Milwaukee. You’re responsible for your own transportation. If you plan to go, be sure you and your bike are in shape to handle this ride.
See the sidebar and map for details on our planned stops. Our ride basically covers interstates, but that does not mean you have to. We hope to see you along the way, and no matter where you hook up with us, make sure you find one of the staff and say hello. AIM