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Harley-Davidson gearing up to welcome thousands for anniversary celebration

Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 22:25:46-04

Harley-Davidson’s 115th-anniversary celebration is a couple days away. The stage at Milwaukee’s Veterans Park is ready for entertainers and tents for food and drink vendors are also set up.

Harley-Davidson’s Marketing Manager, Chris Urban, said it took about 20 months to plan the five-day event. 

“It’s everything from venues, working with the city officials, and the county parks, and all of our partners in the city,” said Urban. 

Harley-Davidson organizers expect 150,000 to 200,000 people to take part in this massive party spread across 28 venues in the Milwaukee area. 

“There’s really a sense of community when you come to these motorcycle events,” Urban said. 

Harley riders, meantime, are hitting the open road, traveling from the four corners of the country to meet in Milwaukee.

Twenty-one-year-old, Tessa Otto, is a UW-Oshkosh student and one of eight Harley-Davidson interns along for the ride. She started her ride in Fort Myers, Florida and has already put in around 1,100 miles on her 2019 Harley bike. 

“We get a chance to ride with our customers and meet people from all over the world, and then I also get to show off our new products,” said Otto. 

“I cannot pull into a gas station without someone wanting to walk up to me to talk about the fact that it’s a Harley,” Otto also said. 

The Harley enthusiasm is about to reach a new level with the anniversary events including factory tours, a beach ride, bike shows, entertainment and more. 

Five years ago for Harley’s 110th-anniversary celebration, people paid anywhere from $100 to $250 to take part. This year, Urban said, participants have to pay for food and drinks but it's free to park and come to enjoy the celebration.

“Come down and hang out and enjoy the city on the last weekend of the summer and come celebrate with Harley-Davidson,” Urban said. 

There will be a number of road closures for the celebration. Click here to see if the route will affect your commute.