The roar of motorcycles will permeate the ocean air as the annual Bikers at the Beach rally takes over both Westport and Ocean Shores starting Friday.
“This is the second year we are including Westport,” said event coordinator Dennis Irby. “We are encouraging our visitors to explore all the Harbor has to offer.”
The event has grown in popularity; a review of last year’s event written by Quick Throttle magazine claimed an estimated 10,000 people came through. Expect to see hundreds of bikes, thousands of people and a lot of “no vacancy” signs at all area lodging.
“With this weather we could see 10-15,000 motorcyclists visit the county this weekend,” said Irby.
Bikers will stage at Central Elementary School in Hoquiam at 9 a.m. Saturday. Kickstands will go up at 10 a.m., with some heading for the Westport Marina and the rest for the Ocean Shores Convention Center. After their arrivals between 10:30 and 11 a.m., they will continue parading through the towns.
The party will officially start at 11 a.m. Friday in Ocean Shores and 2 p.m. in Westport. The Retro-Active band will perform a set in Ocean Shores at 4 p.m. Other Ocean Shores acts include the Harrison Band at 11 a.m. Saturday and the Motors Band at 2 p.m.
Live acts in Westport had yet to be announced as of Monday, but there will be some there as well.
Four stunt teams will be pushing their rides to the limit during the event. In Ocean Shores, the Seattle Cossacks Motorcycle Stunt Team performs at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team takes center stage at 4 p.m., the all-Harley stunt team One Wheel Revolution will perform at noon and 5 p.m., and Kyle Sliger Stunts will play at 1 and 6 p.m.
Biker games start at 3 p.m. Slow races, a toilet toss, ball drop, water balloon catch, ball on cone transfer, weenie bite, loud and proud, and an obstacle course will test the skills of participants.
The Great Biker Challenge takes place at locations throughout the region and covers the length of the event. Cash prizes and trophies can be won by bikers of all skill levels. Challenge stops are spread out from the Aberdeen Art Center to Martin Bruni Liquor in Montesano, the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino and Copalis Beach Grocery, to name just a few. The more stops participants hit, the more points they can accumulate; the person with the most points at the end of it all gets a $500 cash prize.
“The Great Biker Challenge takes them to around 50 stops countywide,” said Irby. “The idea is to drive traffic to the outlying businesses and communities of our hub at the convention center.”
Cooperation with state and local governments make for a well-organized, safe and fun event.
“We work well with the local and state governments to put on a safe event for all motorcyclists,” said Irby. “Ocean Shores, Hoquiam and Westport will have minor traffic adjustments to assist with different activities.”
The event not only draws people to the Harbor for three days, it’s designed to show off the area and encourage repeat visits throughout the year.
“In today’s world, bikers are people from A to Z. Each motorcyclist is a tourist coming to see what the Harbor has to offer,” said Irby. “A large percentage of them will return with their family and friends throughout the year. The majority of the local businesses understand they often return multiple times and welcome the bikers.”
The motorcycle show runs from noon to 3 p.m. at the convention center; awards will be presented at 4 p.m. by Magic’s Custom Motorcycles. The show has 11 categories, including best custom, best sportster, best bagger, best paint, best rat bike and the best-in-show people’s choice award. Plaques are awarded to the winner of each category.
Got ink? Sign up for the tattoo contest at the information booth at the convention center Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. There are awards for the best small and large tats, and another for the worst tattoo.
Afterparties will be held at both hubs, where attendees can relax with some live music after the events have wrapped up for the day. In Westport, the afterparty is at the Pine Tree Bar and Grill, with live music by Max Hay Friday and the Hillbilly Tendencies on Saturday. In Ocean Shores, the action is at Oyhut Bay Seaside Village Amphitheater, where the Harrison Band will perform starting Saturday at 7 p.m.
Other features include:
• Bikini bike wash, a fundraiser for a little girl diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Saturday, 1-3 p.m.
• Vendor village, all three days; Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lots of vendors will be selling a variety of wares at both sites.
• Westport Police Department pancake breakfast, a fundraiser for kids, Saturday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Westport.
• Bike blessing during event hours all three days.
• Door prizes throughout the event; you don’t need to be present to win.
• Beer garden Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Find more details on the event Facebook page, facebook.com/BikersAtTheBeach.