MILWAUKEE -- The rumble of Harley-Davidson motorcycles will be back in Milwaukee for the 115th anniversary of the motorcycle maker this coming Labor Day weekend -- and we now know what riders can expect when they get into town.
Plans for the Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Milwaukee Celebration are set for Wednesday, Aug. 29 through Sunday, Sep. 2.
But the rumble will be felt thousands of miles away.
"We have rides starting from all four corners of the country," said Chris Urban, marketing manager of events for Harley-Davidson.
Riders will be coming to southeast Wisconsin from around the world -- back to where it all began -- merging Harley-Davidson history and culture.
"It's about bond. It's about community. It's about sharing that excitement and passion for freedom and the open road," Urban said.
New for the 115th anniversary in Milwaukee will be motorcycle events throughout the city. Among them -- Harley-Davidson will host beach motorcycle racing on Bradford Beach in Milwaukee as well as sponsoring “Run What You Brung” drag racing, Flat Out Friday flat-track racing and more.
The Harley-Davidson Museum will be the epicenter of 115th anniversary activities in Milwaukee. The museum will host motorcycle field games, a custom bike show, tattoo artists, live music, local food and more.
The best part is this celebration comes at no cost to you.
"In the interest of sharing this bond and this community, removing that barrier was really important for us and being able to share this with more and make it easier for folks to make that decision," Urban said.
The Ride Home
The Milwaukee 115th anniversary celebration will start thousands of miles away on Tuesday, Aug. 21 with Harley-Davidson Rides Home. Led by Motor Company executives, the Harley-Davidson Rides Home will convoy to Milwaukee, stopping at dealerships and adding more riders along the way.
Harley-Davidson Rides Home launch from the four corners of the country with rides rolling into Milwaukee from Seattle, San Diego, Ft. Lauderdale and Portland, Maine.
Harley officials say a complete list of 115th anniversary events and activities – including rides home details, Rally-Pack specifics and their exclusive benefits, motorcycle rentals, organized local rides, tour routes, street parties, as well as lodging and camping – is available at H-D.com/115.
What else is going on during the Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Celebration? Here's a look ahead:
Harley-Davidson Museum: Central Rally Point
- 400 W Canal St., Milwaukee
- 8/29-9/1, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; 9/2, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Harley-Davidson history and culture come to life at the Museum site, with free outdoor activities scheduled for the entire weekend including entertainment on two stages plus food and beverage vendors, photo opportunities and a display of the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycle models.
- H-D Museum Archives and Tours: (Admission required) Motorcycles and artifacts tell the story of the Motor Company’s rich history. All H.O.G. members enjoy complimentary admission with a valid H.O.G. membership card and Photo ID. General Admission Museum tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CDT March 9 at H-D Museum.
- Custom Culture Artisans: See artists working in leather and steel, painting and drawing, and creating designer apparel.
- MotoPhotoShow: Experience the moto-centric photography gallery featuring top artists and photographers.
- Pinstriping: Customize your ride with pinstriping applied by professional artists.
- Live Tattoos: Get the ultimate 115th Anniversary souvenir by professional tattoo artists.
- Stunt Shows: Be amazed at the skills of top motorcycle stunt performers.
- Museum H.O.G. Pin: O.G. Members can pick up a 2018 Museum H.O.G. Pin.
- Sailor Jerry Cocktail Bar & Flash Art Gallery: Learn the story of Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) as you share a cocktail and witness the emerging American counterculture who chose to live outside the lines.
- 115th Anniversary Living the Legend™ Rivets: Celebrate your H-D journey or honor the legacy of a loved one with a customized Living the Legend Rivet permanently displayed on the Harley-Davidson Museum grounds. Order by June 15, 2018 for installation by the 115th Anniversary Celebration. H-D Museum
- Motorcycle Field Games (Saturday 9/1) Help support the BUILD program and take part in vintage motorcycle games including Slow Races, Plank Ride, T-ball, Barrel Roll, Ball on Cone and Weenie Bite and. On-line registration will be live on the H-D Museum website in June.
- 10th Annual Harley-Davidson Museum® Custom Bike Show (Sunday, 9/2) On-line registration for 12 show classes will be live on the H-D Museum website in June.
Harley-Davidson 115th and HOG 35th Anniversary Moto-Carnival
- Veterans Park, 1010 N Lincoln Memorial Dr. Milwaukee
- 8/29, noon-11 p.m.; 8/30-9/1, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; 9/2, noon-6 p.m.
This free party – to celebrate the 115th and 35 years of the Harley Owners Group – kicks off Wednesday as riders roll into Veterans Park. All weekend long the Full Throttle Saloon will serve up high-wire motorcycle thrill shows, Wall of Death and more. Come meet up with friends, grab a refreshing beverage, listen to some music and visit with locals at this carnival filled with riding and revelry.
Motorcycle Racing Action
- Flat Out Friday Powered by Harley-Davidson
- Panther Arena, 400 W Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee; 8/31 7 p.m.-10 p.m.
See the best of indoor, flat track motorcycle racing as riders from both traditional and special classes compete on a soft-drink-syrup-covered track, creating the best of tight, bar-to-bar racing action. Tickets go on-sale later this summer.
- Run What You Brung Powered by Harley-Davidson
- Great Lakes Dragaway, 18411 1st St., Union Grove, Wis. 8/31, Noon-10:30 p.m.
Drag race side-by-side and keep getting back in line to show them what you got. Three performances by the Twin Stunts All-Harley Show. Tickets on sale at noon CDT March 9, 2018. Visit http://www.greatlakesdragaway.com for more information on practice sessions and to purchase racing and admission tickets.
- Harley-Davidson Beach Racing at Bradford Beach
- 2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
- 8/31 Times TBD, 9/1 3-8 p.m.
In a Harley-Davidson anniversary first, bikes will tear through the sand on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Free and open to the public, this beach-focused event will provide gritty fun for all ages. On Friday, racers will be wrenching and kicking up sand as they practice for the competition. Racers on vintage and new bikes will meet up Saturday and battle it out on an oval track created in the sand right on Bradford Beach.
Juneau Avenue Global Headquarters
- 3700 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee
- 8/29-9/1 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Visit the historic site of the first Harley-Davidson factory with free photo opportunities. Experience a 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on the indoor Harley-Davidson JUMPSTART™ Rider Experience.
Factory Tour: Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations
- 8/29-8/31 Times vary
- W156N9000 Pilgrim Rd, Menomonee Falls
Get up close and personal with the Milwaukee-Eight™ and Sportster® powertrain assembly line.
HOG 35th Civilian Skills Competition & Police Skills Competition
- Preliminary rounds at Miller Park 8/30 – 8/31 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Finals at Veterans Park, 9/1 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This is serious competition, with trained motor officers and civilian HOG members showcasing their riding skills through challenging patterns.
- 9/2 at 1 p.m.
Riders from around the world will wave their hometown flags as fans line the route to see the beauty and the brawn of customized motorcycles and unique show bikes. The parade kicks off at 45th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, continues east through downtown Milwaukee and lands at the Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary and HOG 35th Moto-Carnival at Veterans Park.
Visit Local Harley-Davidson Dealerships
Visit seven local Harley-Davidson dealerships to check out new 2019 motorcycles. Take demo rides, get on-site service and accessory installations, talk with financing and gear specialists and shop for exclusive 115th merchandise and accessories. Go to H-D.com/115 for local dealer locations and information.