Written by Nathan Wertheimer
The bikers will be rolling back around Central Florida for this year’s Leesburg Bikefest. This Bikefest is an all day event with much to see and do and is the World’s Largest Motorcycle and Music Event packed into 30 blocks for 3 days with over 60 Concerts, 200 Vendors, Amazing Bike Shows, 5 Hotbody Contests, 5 Venues and a Quarter Million People! Even non-bikers are welcome to attend. Leesburg Bikefest is located in the Downtown area of Leesburg. This event is being held on April 28-30, 2017.
Driving from Orlando to Leesburg is about an hour and a half drive to two hours depending on traffic and the route drivers take. Some people drive on Florida’s Turn-Pike to get to Leesburg. While others take State Road 411 northward from Orlando. Either way will get you to your destination. Once arriving in the Downtown Leesburg, vehicle parking is limited around town. Only motorcycles have an advantage parking close to the venue. Most motorcycles will park on Main Street. Arrive early for the best parking spot available. There are some parking lot for a parking fee at some properties. Some public parking lots may not be available in the downtown area during this event. During the peak of the day and evening motorists should expect to see heavy traffic on the streets in and around Leesburg. Law Enforcement will be out in heavy force looking for drunk drivers.
History of Leesburg Bikefest started in 1997 where the 1st Annual Leesburg Bikefest as a 1-day event with 4 vendors, canned beer, and a couple of local garage bands; with an estimated attendance of 5,000 motorcyclists. Since then, Bikefest has grown into a well-known event that hosts more than 300,000 attendees each year.
In order to meet the demands of Bikefest attendees, the event has grown from a 1-day event to a 3-day event and expanded to 20+ blocks in Downtown Leesburg and the Gator Harley Davidson location. Bikefest utilizes just about every square inch of outdoor space available in the downtown area, and also rents out buildings like the Opera House, Palace Theater, and the Leesburg Center for the Arts, transforming them into night clubs where the event can continue long after the outdoor venues have closed.
The streets of Downtown Leesburg are lined with hundreds of merchandise and food vendor booths, showcasing their wares and tantalizing the taste buds of the more than 250,000 event attendees. For the safety of the bikers and biker enthusiasts, the streets are closed down for motorcycles only, which helps produce a unique and successful Lake County event.
Although Bikefest started with a handful of local garage bands, Bikefest attendees have been entertained by some legendary “musical greats” such as Foghat, Leon Russell, Great White, Quiet Riot, and Confederate Railroad, just to name a few.
For those who don’t ride a motorcycle, yet still want to enjoy the experience; Bikefest features 50+ concerts, contests, a wide variety of biker skill and safely demonstrations, and is home to the legendary Rat’s Hole Custom Bike Shows.
By 2009, Leesburg Bikefest had grown to be the largest 3-day biker event in the country. Bikefest is the largest fund raising event for the Leesburg Partnership, and subsidizes the majority of other events they produce in Downtown Leesburg. Bikefest is also a main fundraiser for many local charities.
When Leesburg Bikefest started, the goal was to provide a great experience, support area businesses, and treat attendees better than any other biker events in the state. This goal has become a reality, and remains the main objective in planning the event. Bikefest promoters pride themselves on being able to say to Leesburg, Lake County, and Central Florida residents, “It’s your town, your party… no bike required!”.
Leesburg Bikefest has usually an older crowd than Daytona Bike Week. There is still a lot of fun all in one location. It is worth the drive to Leesburg for this one a year event. For more information on this event go to www.leesburgbikefest.com . If you like this article, then like it on our Otownfun WordPress account. For more great events and places please visit us at www.otownfun.com .
Photos courtesy by icflorida.com
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Source of information from leesburgbikefest.com