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Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Reminder

Posted by Jason, who lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota on

Reminder: Harley-Davidson's 115th Anniversary celebrations are coming. It’s happening over the Labor Day weekend this year, from August 29 to September 2, 2018. There have been 22 of these anniversaries for Harley-Davidson, the last one being the 110th Anniversary of 2013.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, Harley-Davidson® officially celebrates the passing of a quinquennial anniversary with special multi-day events which attract thousands of Harley riders from around the world. The Motor Company has now fleshed out the activities and rides associated with this year’s 115th Anniversary Celebration and it looks like this one is going to be a doozy. If you are riding to Milwaukee solo or with a small group, be prepared for a dizzying array of activities. If you are planning on riding on one of the four organized HDMC rides from the originating point to Milwaukee, plan early because most of these rides last up to nine days. To participate, a good strategy is to join a route when as it passes close to you - depending on where you join-up, you time on the road will be much less.

So, if you are into "Save the Date" calendar entries, here’s one you might want to plan ahead for: August 29 – September 2, 2018, Harley-Davidson® 115th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee. The Motor Company wants you to roll into Milwaukee on August 29th for the Labor Day Weekend.  Everyone is welcome.

Getting there – The Starting Points and Routes Taken. If you loner, any road will get you there. If you like ride with others, saddle up and join the pilgrimage in riding packs that leave from all four corners of the country. Check out the routes and join-up, wherever. Cities with an asterisk (*) are overnight locations. Check out where the rides stop for lunch.

The Organized Rides and Routes to get You There

From San Diego, a 9-day ride of over 2,200 miles, leaving on Tuesday, August 21, from San Diego H-D, ride over dry lands and staggering landscapes. You’ll ride through Yuma, Scottsdale*, Holbrook, Gallup*, Albuquerque, Amarillo*, Sayer, Oklahoma City*, Wichita, Kansas City*, Moberly, MO, Springfield, IL*, then on into the Milwaukee. The stop in Kansas City is a layover of one day. By this time you’ll have made many new friends.

From Tacoma/Seattle, it’s a 9-day ride of 2,000 miles, leaving on Tuesday, August 21. Leaving from Tacoma Destination HD, ride through crisp mountain-scapes through Moses Lake, Tacoma*, Spokane/Spring Valley*, Missoula, Butte*, Red Lodge, MT, Billings*, Gillette, Rapid City*, Pierre, Sioux Falls*, Albert Lea, Onalaska, WI*, then on into Milwaukee. You’ll layover one full day in Rapid City for touring the beautiful Black Hills, Crazy Horse, and Mt. Rushmore. When you leave you’ll fully understand why this area is a mecca for all motorcyclists.

From the northeast, Portland, ME, it’s a 7-day ride of 1,400 miles, leaving on the Thursday, August 23, from Big Moose HD, and riding on some of the most historic roads in the world, through Auburn, Nanuet*, Orwigsburg, York*, Washington, PA, Cuyahoga Falls*, Toledo, Valparaiso, IN*, then into Milwaukee. You’ll spend a full day in York with a complete tour of the York manufacturing plant. Here, you’ll develop friends for a lifetime.

The southeast point of departure is Ft. Lauderdale, Alligator Alley H-D. It’s a 6-day ride of 1,600 miles, leaving on Friday, August 24, on a route that migrates north with visits in Fort Myers, Tampa*, Gainesville, Tifton, GA*, Atlanta, Murfreesboro, TN*, Louisville, Indianapolis*, then on to Milwaukee. On arrival in Milwaukee, you can visit one of the participating Harley-Davidson dealerships to join the final ride to Veterans Park, on August 29. 

Once you arrive on the 29th, have fun and join any number of events during your stay in Milwaukee. Here's a detailed list to review.

Events You Don't Want to Miss

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® 115th AND HOG 35th MOTO-CARNIVAL, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – SUNDAY 9/2. Commencing on the shores of Lake Michigan, this free party is serving up high wire motorcycle thrill shows, Wall of Death, music, drinks, and more.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® DEALERSHIPS, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – SUNDAY 9/2. Visit all seven local dealerships, including your favorite, Wisconsin Harley-Davidson at 1280 Blue Ribbon Drive, Oconomowoc, to check out the new 2019 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. Take demo rides, get on-site installations, talk with financing and gear specialists and shop for exclusive 115th merchandise and accessories.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® BEACH RACING, FRIDAY 8/31 - SATURDAY 9/1. For the first time in over 100 years, watch bikes tear through the sand on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Free and open to the public, with beach activities providing gritty fun for all ages.

FLAT OUT FRIDAY POWERED BY HARLEY-DAVIDSON®, FRIDAY 8/31. See the best of indoor, flat track motorcycle racing as riders from both traditional and special classes compete, creating the best of tight, bar-to-bar racing action.

RUN WHAT YOU BRUNG POWERED BY HARLEY-DAVIDSON®, FRIDAY 8/31. Harley riders from around the world are invited to race side-by-side at the iconic "biggest little track in the world." Keep getting back in line and show 'em what you got.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON® MUSEUM, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – SUNDAY 9/2. Enjoy acres of free outdoor activities all weekend long at the 115th Central Rally Point where H-D history and custom culture come to life.

JUNEAU AVENUE GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – SATURDAY 9/1. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this is where it all started. Free photo opportunities at the Historical Marker at the main entrance, the famous Bar & Shield, and inside the Lobby at the "Freedom" iron wall.

FACTORY TOURS, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – FRIDAY 8/31. Experience Harley-Davidson® history and get up close and personal with the assembly line, powder coat process, cold testing, and steel and aluminum machining.

H-D® 115th POLICE AND CIVILIAN SKILLS COMPETITION, THURSDAY 8/30 – SATURDAY 9/1. Watch this motorcycle rodeo as trained motor officers and civilian HOG members put their riding skills to the test. These are not your typical "biker games" – they’re serious competition.

LOCAL RIDES, WEDNESDAY 8/29 – SUNDAY 9/2. Enjoy the best of Milwaukee on these self-guided short-distance rides routed from the H-D Museum to the seven Southeastern Wisconsin local H-D dealerships.

STREET PARTIES, DATES TBD. Various locations will be announced in Spring. Experience local culture, food and music at these neighborhood street parties.

PARADE, SUNDAY 9/2. Be a part of the celebration as thousands ride proudly through the streets of downtown Milwaukee celebrating 115 years of freedom. 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. We've welcomed them home, and we'll send them off in style.

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