Harley-Davidson celebrated anniversary
Last updated 7/18/2023 at 9:27pm
Harley-Davidson Motorcycle celebrated its 120th anniversary the second week of July. The four day festival July 12-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin the hometown of Harley-Davidson saw hundreds of thousands of people come there from around the world to join the celebration that featured live music performances, fun activities, and entertainment for motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages.
The Harley Owners Group or HOG Chapter 5298 known as Teddy Morse Cowboy Harley from the Golden Triangle attended the rally in Milwaukee. Nineteen members of the local HOG chapter made the three-day ride to be a part of the anniversary festivities riding up old Route 66 part of the way exploring and checking out the beautiful countryside on the way there.
Longtime Harley owner Curtis May and his wife Lynn made the ride from southeast Texas to Milwaukee. Curtis is an original HOG member with 40 years and over 853,000 riding miles documented.
There was some rain the third day on the ride after the group got to Wisconsin. The four days of the festival in Milwaukee though were beautiful with lots of sunshine.
HOG Chapter 5298 was specially invited to attend this year's festival. "Bill Davidson the CEO of Harley invited Van Jordan our past director last year to attend and this year Bill extended that invitation to me and any of our members that rode up to the hundred and twentieth anniversary of Harley and the fortieth anniversary of HOG, Harley Owners Group," J.W. Dalton the director of the local HOG chapter indicated.
The festival was a great opportunity to see the worldwide popularity of Harley-Davidson. "It was surprising to me that we were able to meet people from all over the world. Different countries, different nationalities all coming together to join in the festivities of Harley-Davidson. I met people from Columbia, Indonesia, Japan, Scotland, Australia, and South Africa," Dalton replied.
Activities during the festival included concerts from the Foo Fighters and the Marshall Tucker Band. There were also challenge rides throughout the city of Milwaukee.
The six different Harley-Davidson dealerships in the city hosted parties throughout the four days of fun. "It was absolutely amazing," Dalton expressed.
The local HOG chapter was to receive special recognition, but Dalton said the response from motorcyclists for the anniversary celebration was so overwhelming there was not an opportunity for the group to be recognized. Harley-Davidson officials told Dalton they had anticipated around three hundred thousand bikers to participate in the parade on Sunday, but as it turned out over 700,000 attended the big party in Milwaukee.
Dalton responded, "We were honored that we were able to be there. I was able to meet and talk with Bill Davidson on Friday afternoon. He and I had a good conversation about the future of Harley-Davidson, and also of our HOG chapter and HOG in general."
This year's outstanding response by Harley owners is going to change the scheduling of the anniversary festival in the future. "It looks like they're going to start instead of every five-year anniversary celebrations they're going to start having a party every year," Dalton was told.
The anniversary celebration culminated on Sunday with a huge parade of motorcyclists. Dalton recalled, "We were able to represent our HOG chapter in the parade Sunday with thousands and thousands of motorcycles with people from all over the world as we rode down through the city of Milwaukee and back over to the museum of Harley-Davidson. It was a great time."