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Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary

By Deborah Speicher

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When Harley-Davidson and the City of Milwaukee throw a party, they really pull out all the stops. The party was somewhat spread out throughout the city and surrounding areas. The local dealerships all held parties of their own with live music, vendors, and various entertainment. The House of Harley dealership had different themes for each day and held organized rides that benefitted various charities (Susan Koman Foundation for Women’s Day, Fisher House for Veterans Day, etc.).

Up at the Powertrain Plant in Menomonee Falls, they also held demo rides. It was a true twofer as we got to tour the plant and then ride the new 2014 models. There are lots of changes to the new Harley-Davidsons especially the touring models which had long lines to demo. I especially liked the fact that ABS is either standard or available as on option on all models. Lots of very cool paint options for 2014 too!

The Harley-Davidson Museum was a great place to check out the history of all things Harley. There were also numerous vendors, a HOG (Harley Owners Group) pin stop, bike night and an AMD motorcycle show. Kudos to H‑D for having great food on the premises. I ate at Motor Bar and Restaurant previously and stopped in again a couple of times this trip. Service and quality were uncompromised even with the large crowds. The staff at the Museum recommended we leave our motorcycles in their secure lot and take a shuttle over to the Summerfest Grounds which we did a few times.

The Summerfest Grounds are located in downtown Milwaukee on the shores of Lake Michigan and can accommodate several concerts at once. For one price, you got four days of 60+ concerts which featured The Doobie Brothers, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Joan Jett and several other top notch acts. Three separate concerts (with additional tickets) were available for Aerosmith, Kid Rock and Toby Keith. There was also UFC and other events, making it something for everybody!

Saturday, August 31 we attended the H-D parade. Participating were numerous antique motorcycles, hundreds of HOG chapters from all over the world, various law enforcement agencies and departments, motorcycle celebrities such as Willie G. and Nancy Davidson, and Governor Scott Walker (Wisconsin). The parade of approximately 7,000 motorcycles went from Miller Park to downtown Milwaukee and ended at Summerfest Grounds. This was really a sight to behold!
We also spent some time out in the country hitting some of the local hangouts such as The DMZ Bunker in Waterford which has the best burgers and cold brews around. Friday night fish fries are popular at just about every local pub and once again the locals directed us to a really good one at Benno’s in downtown West Allis.

No matter where we went, the people of Milwaukee and surrounding areas couldn’t have been nicer and welcomed us “home.” You can be sure I will be heading back for the 115th Anniversary in 2018!

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