WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.
More than 1,200 Harley Davidson enthusiasts will visit the Williamsburg area this week for four days of motorcycles and camaraderie.
The festivities are centered around the Fort Magruder Inn & Conference Center, where the 25th anniversary of the Virginia Harley Owners Rally has several events scheduled.
Rides are also on the docket throughout the area during the four-day rally starting Thursday.
The biggest ride is on Friday afternoon, when most of the rally attendees will gather at York High School for a ride down the Colonial Parkway, ending at Busch Gardens, said Mark Mulvaney, the rally’s coordinator.
That ride is expected to last from 4 to 5 p.m. and could cause minor traffic delays. Mulvaney said James City County police officers and dignitaries will escort the motorcycle riders on their trip down the parkway.
He said the Harley enthusiasts are looking forward to four days of vacation in the Williamsburg area.
“[Our reason for picking Williamsburg for the rally] stems everything from the hospitality to the riding to the availability of the food and service oriented type facilities,” he said. “It’s an entire package. You can get anywhere from here, wonderful riding. There’s a lot of attractions.”
This will be the fourth Harley Owners Group rally in the Historic Triangle. The last one was held in 2012. Mulvaney said rally attendees tend to be between 45 and 57 years old, with high five and low six-figure incomes who ride motorcycles as a leisure activity.
“We’re going to definitely pump a lot of money into the community, because that’s what we do, for restaurant and fuel and services,” he said. “We’re here on vacation, just like the other tourists who are here. We respect the area. Feel free to come look and discuss [the motorcycles]. We’re proud of what we do.”
The motorcycle riders will take to local streets throughout the four days for several other events, but only the Colonial Parkway ride will feature the majority of the group in one place at one time.
Other rides include trips down John Tyler Highway, Jamestown Road, the Yorktown Battlefields and a Thursday evening “bug ride,” where riders will put targets on their motorcycles and compete to see who can hit the most insects within the target.
That ride will benefit the Wilke Endowment Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships on behalf of the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Sigma Pi national fraternity.