Motorcycles of all kinds are once again taking over the city for the 22nd annual Hot Harley Nights this weekend.
Last year the festival raised over $ 175,000 for Make-A-Wish. Around 25 wishes were granted as a result of the event. Over the past 21 years, nearly $ 2.5 million has been raised for the charity, all of which has stayed in South Dakota.
“It is a key event not only for fundraising but also for raising awareness about Make-A-Wish and our mission,” said Paul Krueger, President of Make-A-Wish South Dakota.
The festivities kick off this evening with Family Night at J&L Harley Davidson. Kids of all ages can check out big trucks, race cars, construction equipment and police vehicles. This free event also features a NASCAR simulator, character visits, vendors and more.
Activities are scheduled all day Friday at J&L Harley Davidson, including a raffle, Ride-in-Bike Show and a concert by Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation. Saturday morning get FlyBoy donuts and check out the vendor booths before the signature miles-long parade.
Several thousand motorcycles will take off Saturday from J&L Harley Davidson at 5:30 p.m. led by Make-A-Wish kids. The parade route is similar to previous years with slight adjustments for construction.
A large crowd gathers downtown where the procession will end, but families gather at other points along the parade. “It’s fun to see people that come out and set up their lawn chairs all along the route,” said Krueger, who rides in the front.
New this year is an early concert downtown Saturday for the crowd before the motorcycles arrive. Too Drunk To Fish will be playing at 4:30 p.m. at Falls Park West. Headliner Ron Keel Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. downtown.
The weekend wraps up with a pancake feed and outdoor church service on Sunday morning at J&L Harley Davidson.
For the full schedule of events go to hotharleynights.com.
IF YOU GO
What: Hot Harley Nights
Where: J&L Harley Davidson and Downtown