(Sept. 14, 2018) While the 18th annual Delmarva Bike Week events have been canceled, despite less than favorable weather conditions, the eighth annual Ocean City BikeFest and 10th annual Bikes to the Beach will still go on this weekend.
Thousands of bike enthusiasts have taken over the resort area, with activities beginning Thursday. Events include live music, motorcycle demos and shows and hundreds of vendors selling merchandise.
• Ocean City BikeFest:
BikeFest activities kicked off Thursday at the convention center on 40th Street. Due to the threat of Hurricane Florence, the live entertainment has been relocated inside the convention center as well, because of flooding concerns for the former location in the inlet parking lot.
“The storm could cause a potential 3-4-inch storm surge,” Event Organizer Chase Micheal said. “The concerts were at risk, so we moved them to the convention center.”
Despite storm setbacks, festivities were slated to begin on Thursday, Sept. 13, with names such as Seether, Kip Moore, Pop Evil, .38 Special, Big Engine and Kashmir taking the stage throughout the weekend.
The event draws as many as 150,000 to 175,000 spectators, and is one of the largest motorcycle festivals in the country, ranked third only to Daytona, Florida, and Sturgis, South Dakota, according to Micheal.
“It’s pretty amazing that an area that would normally see a lot of family tourism [holds this event], but a lot of people attend,” Micheal said. “This is what I call an ‘adultcation.’ It really is, that’s what it’s about.
“We produce about seven [events] around the country, two of which we own,” he continued. “This is our biggest event and it’s really our baby. I go the whole year traveling to events and I really look forward to doing this event.”
Outside the convention center, tents will contain dozens of vendors selling a variety of bike merchandise and offering promotions.
Food and drinks will also be available for purchase. There will be craft beer for sale as well.
Harley-Davidson, sponsor of the event, will be in attendance with 2018 motorcycles for purchase.
“The Town of Ocean City itself draws [in] a lot of people, and [many] people have second homes here or have been coming to the Eastern Shore since their childhood,” Micheal said.
“The event with the music and the vendors that we have and the fact that it’s an annual thing [which] has continued to grow has really attracted a lot of riders to this area.
“There’s everything for someone to do, like going to see concerts, or [checking out] vendors and sponsorships,” he continued. “Obviously [there’s also] everything Ocean City has to offer with hotels, restaurants and so on.”
The convention center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Free parking for motorcycles is available on a first come, first serve basis and entry to the convention center is free. Activities excluding concerts are free as well. Tickets for concerts during the event costs $75 for a weekend pass or $45 for a day pass.
Ticket holders can also purchase a commemorative OC BikeFest and Delmarva Bike Week poker chip for $2 each, while supplies last.
Visit www.ocbikefest.com to purchase tickets and for a full schedule of concerts and events.
• Delmarva Bike Week:
Delmarva Bike Week, originally slated to be held at Salisbury’s Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, was canceled midweek, due to vendors who had already arrived leaving because of the threat of Hurricane Florence.
“The Delmarva Bike Week was created by the dealership – the local Harley dealership. It was out of necessity for getting people together to ride on the Eastern Shore,” Micheal said. “It’s grown into one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the country beside Sturgis and Daytona. It’s probably the second or third largest [motorcycle] event in the country.”
However, despite a majority of vendors leaving the area, roughly 20 from the Delmarva Bike Week event will be relocated to the convention center on 40th Street.
Free event pins can still be obtained at the convention center.
According to Micheal, portions of proceeds made from this year’s Bikefest will be allocated to hurricane relief programs.
Visit www.delmarvabikeweek.com for more information.
• Bikes to the Beach:
Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City, Oasis Bar ‘n Grill in Whaleyville, Fish Tales on 21st Street, Seacrets on 49th Street and a number of other venues around the resort will host bike events this weekend, which began yesterday, bringing live music, vendors, contests and events to their locations.
At Hooper’s, located at the base of the Route 50 bridge, visitors can listen to live entertainment Friday and Saturday from three musical acts, in addition to checking out several vendor booths.
“We’re just hoping for a great event and hope everyone stays safe and dry,” Hooper’s Manager Patrick Brady said. “It’s just a nice, easy outdoor venue and we’re going to have a good old hoedown.”
Musical performances will take place inside the restaurant, beginning today at 4 p.m. with Dust N Bones. On Saturday, King’s Ransom and Pistol Whipped will play all afternoon at Hooper’s.
The vendor booths will feature merchandise for sale such as LED lights, T-shirts, patches, head gear, custom seats and accessories for bikes.
“You can bring your bike down, and get whatever you want done to it that you need on site,” Brady said.
At Oasis, which is located about halfway between Ocean City and Salisbury in Whaleyville, events kicked off Thursday.
Slated musical entertainment includes Kings Ransom, Pistol Whipped, Group Therapy, Kaotik and Scarlet Angel on Friday and Saturday.
In addition, there will be a midget paintball manhunt, where participants win prizes for hitting a moving target. New to the event is the midget dunk booth.
There will be a number of games and a cash giveaway. Exclusive collectable vodka, rum and moonshine bottles will be available as a souvenir.
On Sunday, a biker’s appreciation blowout will wrap up the event, beginning at 10 a.m.
Visit www.oceancitybikestothebeach.com for more information.