The Brain Bucket

The Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Party Will Be One to Remember

Mar 4, 2018 6:00:00 PM / by Jo Kelley

Let's celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 115-year anniversary

Wow, they grow up so fast don’t they? Harley-Davidson is hitting the big 115 this year, and they plan to celebrate in a way that only Harley could. Harley’s Vice President of Marketing Heather Malenshek said, “We've been running these since the 85th anniversary, and our 115th anniversary is going to be different than any anniversary we've done before.

"In previous anniversaries, we've been more focused on our existing customer base," she continued. “In this anniversary we want to celebrate motorcycle culture, invite riders and non-riders alike to enjoy the festivities, celebrate Harley-Davidson, and our significant legacy. We're holding events nationally, and this year we're bringing back the cross-country rides home to Milwaukee. 


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Photo source: Harley-DavidsonHarley 115 Anniversary

That’s right, Harley-Davidson Rides Home will launch from the four corners of the country: Seattle, Washington; Portland, Maine; San Diego, California; and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and will take all riders through scenic American roads. The route snakes along the country, through big cities and small towns, and finally meet in Milwaukee for the official Anniversary Party on Labor Day weekend, 2018.

The Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Celebration is open to the public, and admission is free for all who wish to celebrate, with some additional attractions charging ticket fees. The Harley-Davidson Museum, which celebrates Harley-Davidson motorcycle history, will be at the center of the bash, and more events will spread throughout the city of Milwaukee. There will be a custom bike show, live music, good food, tattoo artists, and motorcycle field games for attendees to enjoy. Harley is also hosting drag races, Flat Out Friday flat track racing, and even beach racing along Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan.


Beach Racing

While eager party-goers will need to wait until August to enjoy the celebration, on February 27, Harley launched a global celebration of freedom with the #HD115 hashtag. Riders are encouraged to share their stories, and the authors of the best 115 submissions will be awarded a commemorative stainless-steel rivet displayed in a place of honor in the official Harley-Davidson Museum. Harley also plans to mix up their social media for one Monday every month until the anniversary by giving one lucky Harley fan complete control over their social media channels. If you want to take part in the online fun, check out Harley’s Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you’d like more information, visit Harley’s official website. Want a rundown of these exciting events? Just Check out the schedule!

Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee:

Harley-Davidson Museum™ Central Rally Point
400 W Canal St., Milwaukee
August 29 - September 1, 2018
9 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Harley-Davidson history and culture come to life at the Museum site, with free outdoor activities scheduled for the entire weekend. Hear stories of HD history, like the service of Harley-Davidson in WWII, catch entertainment on two stages, plus food and beverage vendors, photo opportunities, and a display of the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycle models.

H-D Museum Archives and Tours: (Admission required) Motorcycles and artifacts tell the story of the Motor Company’s rich history. All H.O.G. members enjoy complimentary admission with a valid H.O.G. membership card and Photo ID. General Admission Museum tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CDT March 9 at H-D Museum.

Custom Culture Artisans: See artists working in leather and steel, painting and drawing, and creating designer apparel.


MotoPhotoShow: Experience the moto-centric photography gallery featuring top artists and photographers.

Pinstriping: Customize your ride with pinstriping applied by professional artists.
Live Tattoos: Get the ultimate 115th Anniversary souvenir by professional tattoo artists.
Stunt Shows: Be amazed at the skills of top motorcycle stunt performers.
Sailor Jerry Cocktail Bar & Flash Art Gallery: Learn the story of Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) as you share a cocktail and witness the emerging American counterculture who chose to live outside the lines.
115th Anniversary Living the Legend™ Rivets: Celebrate your H-D journey or honor the legacy of a loved one with a customized Living the Legend Rivet permanently displayed on the Harley-Davidson Museum grounds. Order by June 15, 2018 for installation by the 115th Anniversary Celebration.
Motorcycle Field Games: On Saturday, September 1, help support the BUILD program and take part in vintage motorcycle games including Slow Races, Plank Ride, T-ball, Barrel Roll, Ball on Cone and Weenie Bite and. Online registration will be live on the H-D Museum website in June.
10th Annual Harley-Davidson Museum® Custom Bike Show: On Sunday, September 2, Online registration for 12 show classes will be live on the H-D Museum website in June.

Harley-Davidson 115th and HOG 35th Anniversary Moto-Carnival:
Veterans Park, 1010 N Lincoln Memorial Dr. Milwaukee
August 29, 2018: Noon - 11 p.m.
August 30 - September 1, 2018: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.
September 2: noon - 6 p.m.

This free party – to celebrate the 115th and 35 years of the Harley Owners Group – kicks off Wednesday as riders roll into Veterans Park. All weekend long the Full Throttle Saloon will serve up high-wire motorcycle thrill shows, Wall of Death and more. Come meet up with friends, grab a refreshing beverage, listen to some music and visit with locals at this carnival filled with riding and revelry.

Motorcycle Racing Action:

Indoor Flat Track Racing

Flat Out Friday Powered by Harley-Davidson
Panther Arena, 400 W Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee
August 31, 2018: 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

See the best of indoor, flat track motorcycle racing as riders from both traditional and special classes compete on a soft-drink-syrup-covered track, creating the best of tight, bar-to-bar racing action. Tickets go on-sale later this summer.

Run What You Brung Powered by Harley-Davidson

Run What You Brung
Great Lakes Dragaway, 18411 1st St., Union Grove, Wis.
August 31, 2018:  Noon - 10:30 p.m.

Drag-race side-by-side and keep getting back in line to show them what you got. Three performances by the Twin Stunts All-Harley Show. Tickets on sale at noon CDT March 9, 2018. Visit for more information on practice sessions and to purchase racing and admission tickets.

Harley-Davidson Beach Racing at Bradford Beach

2400 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr., Milwaukee
August 31, 2018: Times TBD
September 1, 2018: 3 - 8 p.m.

In a Harley-Davidson anniversary first, bikes will tear through the sand on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Free and open to the public, this beach-focused event will provide gritty fun for all ages. On Friday, racers will be wrenching and kicking up sand as they practice for the competition. Racers on vintage and new bikes will meet up Saturday and battle it out on an oval track created in the sand right on Bradford Beach.

Juneau Avenue Global Headquarters

Harley Milwaukee

3700 W. Juneau Ave., Milwaukee
August 29 - September 1, 2018:  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Visit the historic site of the first Harley-Davidson factory with free photo opportunities. Experience a 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on the indoor Harley-Davidson JUMPSTART™ Rider Experience.

Factory Tour: Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations

Factory Tours
W156N9000 Pilgrim Rd, Menomonee Falls, Wis.
August 29 - August 31, 2018: Times vary

Get up close and personal with the Milwaukee-Eight™ and Sportster® powertrain assembly line.

HOG 35th Civilian Skills Competition & Police Skills Competition

Police Skill Competition

Preliminary rounds at Miller Park
August 30 – August 31, 2018: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Finals at Veterans Park
September 1, 2018: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

This is serious competition, with trained motor officers and civilian HOG members showcasing their riding skills through challenging patterns.

Motorcycle Parade

Harley Parade
September 2, 2018: 1 p.m.

Riders from around the world will wave their hometown flags as fans line the route to see the beauty and the brawn of customized motorcycles and unique show bikes. 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.

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Topics: Articles, Motorcycles, The Brain Bucket

Jo Kelley

Written by Jo Kelley

I cover the history of motorcycles, motorcycle news, and tell the stories of some of the most popular brands.