This past Labor Day weekend was Harley-Davidson’s 115th anniversary celebration and the Motor Company pulled out all the stops. Activities were scattered across Milwaukee and beyond. And we’ve created a photo gallery to complement Contributing Editor Felicia Morgan’s coverage of the event, which you can read here.

The first day of the celebration, media representatives were invited to Harley’s iconic Juneau Avenue headquarters for an executive briefing where the Motor Company’s plans for the coming years were discussed. Although I’ve visited the historic and impressive buildings before, it’s the first time I’ve actually been inside that hallowed space.

Opening ceremonies were held on Wednesday at the Harley-Davidson 115th and H.O.G. 35th Moto-Carnival at Veterans Park where Jesse James Dupree of Jackyl and Full Throttle Saloon fame rode an FXDR on stage and proceeded to perform a lengthy, smoky burnout, much to the delight of the crowd.

The next day, a near-production prototype of the LiveWire was presented to the media at the Harley-Davidson Museum. Other activities taking place there, on various days, included Born-Free Motorcycle Show/Motorcycle Cannonball showcase as well as a custom bike show on Saturday. The Sailor Jerry Custom Culture Lounge housed a number of unique vendors and craftspeople, stunt shows took place throughout the week, and concerts entertained the crowds every day and night.

Thursday was the Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations tour in Menomonee Falls, where about 1,000 employees produce over 200,000 engines per year, as well as transmissions, are produced every year. Did you know there are more than 150 parts in a Harley-Davidson engine and transmission?

Races, races and more races were featured all week long, including the popular Flat-Out Friday flat track races which took place Friday night at Panther Arena in downtown Milwaukee. The next Flat-Out Friday takes place February 15 during the Mama Tried weekend in Milwaukee.

The Race Of Gentlemen in conjunction with Harley-Davidson presented the first-ever Bradford Beach Brawl held on Saturday. The Race Of Gentlemen, which started at the Jersey shore, will hold its first-ever drag races in Santa Barbara, California, March 8-9, and will return to Wildwood, New Jersey, the weekend of October 4-6.

We joined thousands of other Harley riders for the 115th Anniversary Parade on Saturday, leaving from Miller Park and riding through the streets of Milwaukee. The original plan was for the parade to end at Veterans Park, but with the torrential rain experienced prior to the parade date, the park was too muddy to be opened for the riders. Still, spectators along the parade rout waved, cheered, and held up banners proclaiming their appreciation of Harley-Davidson and the parade participants who were riding them.

The Milwaukee Rally is held over Labor Day weekend every year, but every fifth anniversary year, the dealership events are kicked up several notches. Participating dealers for the 115th celebration included House of Harley-Davidson’s two locations, Iron Town Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, Suburban H-D, Uke’s H-D, and Wisconsin H-D. Each location had its own flavor, vendors, and entertainment, and some of the dealerships hosted street parties in Milwaukee.

Street parties and other community events took place throughout the week, and included Party in the Park, Jazz in the park, Motorcycle Alley, Historic Third Ward Street Party, Brady Street Experience, Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker with Russell Dickerson concenrt, and the Milwaukee Motorcycle Film Festival, as well as the street party held outside of Panther Stadium before the Flat-Out Friday races.


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