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Harley Davidon’s 110th Anniversary

Harley 110th

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 29-September 1st   #HD110MILWAUKEE

To learn more, visit Harley Davidson website.

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The annual Open House kicked off at Harley-Davidson in York County Thursday to big crowds. This is the 110th year for the iconic brand, and the 40th anniversary for the York County factory.

Marc Duell owns the first Harley to ever come off the assembly line at the York Plant. Only two years ago did he realize just how much it was truly worth. “You go up in the attic one day and one of those old paintings turns out to be a Rembrandt that you just were not looking for. We were not expecting that,” said Duell.

Besides music, food and entertainment you can browse merchandise from five local Harley dealers.

Another major component of the open house is the factory tours. Saturday is the only day out of the year that children under 12 can tour the factory.

“For a lot of people who own Harley-Davidson, being able to see where their bike was made is really important to them, and is really meaningful,” said Bernadette Lauer with Harley-Davidson York Vehicle Operations.

So far this year, one the most popular attraction is the demo rides. People are waiting several hours to take a ride on the newest line, Rushmore.

“We listened to our riders, and we allowed their input to making this new bike,” said Lauer.

“I read a lot about the new bikes, Harley has made a lot of changes this year and after having ridden one I can tell you it’s pretty dramatic,” said Kevin Brown who came to the open house from Wayne Pennsylvania.

You have to hold a valid motorcycle license for the demo rides. Harley open house runs 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Thousands took part and thousands more came out to watch the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Parade that took place on Saturday morning, August 31st.

FOX43′s sister station has processed most of the video from FOX6′s coverage of the massive parade — and have made it available to you. Check it out — they will be adding segments as they’re done being processed.


MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The party wasn’t quite over, but reviews of Harley-Davidson’s big 110th anniversary celebration were already filtering in on Sunday, September 1st.

“I’m in love with the people — not more than the city, but in love with the people of Milwaukee. They’ve been so kind with us!”

On Sunday, at Milwaukee’s Harley-Davidson Museum, those taking part in Harley’s 110th anniversary celebration shared their thoughts on what they’ve experienced thus far.

Dan Weaver rode to Milwaukee from Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri with his father and his son. Weaver’s son is the fourth-generation Harley rider, and as such, he shares his name with the company: Brendan Harley David Weaver.

Judy Gensthaler of Germany said she had a great time in Milwaukee for the Harley 110th.

“It’s really way down to earth, and we really like it. It’s a neat little city, and we met a lot of people. We have a lot of good friends here,” Gensthaler said.

For some, the 110th anniversary celebration coming to an end was bittersweet.

“Milwaukee is first-class, all the way around — for business and for pleasure. For my first rally, I’m very emotional about it. It’s sad that it’s coming to an end,” Michele Wierzgac said.

As some bikers headed out of the city on Sunday, there was still plenty to do to celebrate Harley-Davidson — including a Water Street block party, dealer events and tours of the Harley-Davidson Museum.

Harley-Davidson is celebrating their one hundred and tenth anniversary, and that means Harley headquarters in Milwaukee is throwing a huge party to celebrate!  All of us here in Central Pennsylvania can join the party ‘live’ as FOX43 brings you 110th Anniversary Parade as it happens this Saturday. The parade starts at 10AM on FOX43, so polish up your chrome and join the celebration as Harley fans from all over the world meet in Milwaukee to pay tribute one hundred and ten years of Harley-Davidson.

And if you can’t get enough of the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary celebration, FOX43 is rebroadcasting the entire 110th Anniversary Parade on FOX43 News 24/7 channel starting Saturday at 4pm and going the rest of the weekend. It’s a Harley lover’s dream come true.


MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Fans of Harley-Davidson will do almost anything to prove their love for the brand, including permanently inking their skin with tribute tattoos.

“That’s my Harley. They drew it exactly to my bike,” said Danny Helms.

Those who want a permanent reminder of the 110th Anniversary are visiting Milwaukee Ink, just below the Harley gift shop. Loyal riders like Laura Share of Rochester, New York stopped in the parlor with one thing in mind.

“When I saw this was happening I was like ‘I have to, I have to get it,’” said Share of the Harley shield. “It says Harley-Davidson and then Milwaukee 110. I want to eventually make this into a whole sleeve-type thing.”

Katrina Parsons and her new husband, Shaun, changed their wedding date to attend the big event. Katrina says her brand new ink is a reminder of their first happy days as man and wife.

“We just got married last Saturday. This is our honeymoon,” said Parsons. “Our wedding tattoo will come later.”

Milwaukee Ink says there have been lines out the door with people searching for the perfect Harley-Davidson tattoo. The shop is even inking for free between the hours of noon and 2 p.m. if you get a specific 110th Anniversary tattoo.

Dozens of enthusiasts have already taken advantage of the offer.


MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Bikers showed up en masse to Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival Park on Day One of Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration on Thursday, August 29th, and some put on quite a display in terms of their fashion — hoping to attract some attention and connect with other bikers.

Barbara Kippley was no exception. She’s a self-proclaimed “Harley Girl.”

On Thursday, Kippley was clad in Harley-Davidson’s traditional orange and black, with a bedazzled top, Harley-Davidson earrings, a Harley handbag and a handmade parasol — couture, but ready to tour!

“The parasol fits into the trunk of the bike. The rest of it, I can ride,” Kippley said.

Kippley traveled thousands of miles to be in Milwaukee for the 110th — heading out from Houston, Texas. However, Kippley is originally from Door County, Wisconsin and grew up on Lake Michigan.

So, the “Harley Girl” is calling this celebration — her first H-D anniversary, a sort of homecoming.

Kippley says she put her outfit together in about a week.


MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The bikers are here! On the eve of the official kickoff of Harley-Davidson’s big 110th anniversary celebration, Harley enthusiasts made their way into the city of Milwaukee!

At Milwaukee Harley-Davidson on Wednesday night, the party had already started! There was a big welcoming for members of the Northwest H.O.G. chapter, and also, for their brothers and sisters from Down Under!

For Harley riders from Australia, their journey to the 110th began with a flight into Los Angeles.

They found themselves in Las Vegas, where they picked up their rented Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

“We just came all the way up through Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Black Hills — it was just absolutely stunning,” Denby Bently said.

On the 19th day, they found themselves in the promised land: Milwaukee, Wisconsin — where fellow riders welcomed them along Milwaukee’s freeway overpasses.

“People in Wisconsin aren’t like anywhere else in the world. They make you feel welcome,” a rider told FOX6 News.

Bently is one of 23 people with the Sydney, Australia H.O.G. chapter. This was his first trip to the United States.

“You’ve got a lot more terrain here — mountains and deep valleys and gorges,” Bently said.

Also a first-timer in Wisconsin is Jean Borchut who is originally from France.

“Now I’m an Aussie, but still have strong French accent, but it doesn’t prevent me from being welcomed within the local chapter,” Borchut said.

These Aussies say they’re grateful for the warm welcome.

“Doesn’t matter where you go in the world. It’s just like they welcome you with open arms. It’s just amazing. I just love it,” Bently said.


MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The Lake Express high-speed ferry will be transporting hundreds of motorcyclists to and from Milwaukee this week for Harley-Davidson’s 110th anniversary celebration.

Up to 120 Harley riders are expected to be on the Lake Express for the ferry’s Aug. 28th and Aug. 29th trips to Milwaukee. Upon the celebration’s end, Lake Express expect similar numbers heading back to Michigan on Sept. 1st and Sept. 2nd (see travel schedule below).

Lake Express will continue service through the fall season with four daily crossings in September and October with a “motorcycle ride free” deal available from Sept. 5th through Oct. 27th.

Harley riders arriving in Milwaukee via Lake Express ferry:

  • Wednesday, August 28 – 11:45 a.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (10:15 a.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Wednesday, August 28 – 6:15 p.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (4:45 p.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Thursday, August 29 – 11:45 a.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (10:15 a.m. EST departure from Muskegon)
  • Thursday, August 29 – 6:15 p.m. CST Milwaukee arrival (4:45 p.m. EST departure from Muskegon)

Harley riders departing Milwaukee via Lake Express ferry:

  • Sunday, September 1 – 6:00 a.m. CST Milwaukee departure (9:15 a.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Sunday, September 1 – 12:30 p.m. CST Milwaukee departure (3:45 p.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Monday, September 2 – 6:00 a.m. CST Milwaukee departure (9:15 a.m. EST Muskegon arrival)
  • Monday, September 2 – 12:30 p.m. CST Milwaukee departure (3:45 p.m. EST Muskegon arrival)

Gary Mahla is a Harley rider who took the ferry into Milwaukee on Tuesday, August 27th.

“It was real smooth. A piece of cake. The hardest thing was tying down your bike to make sure it was stable and not going to bounce around or anything. The ride was very smooth, very nice — pretty quick,” Mahla said.

Bob Formont also took the ride on Tuesday, and arrived in Milwaukee for the first time.

“Everybody said we should avoid Chicago. Somebody suggested ‘hey, go up to Michigan and look for a ferry to come across.” So we did the research and booked the ferry,” Formont said.

A Lake Express spokesman says it has sold so many rides it can’t hold any more bikes on a few trips, which is good problem to have.

“It’s a nice way to welcome them to the festival because they meet up. They’ve been riding from all different destinations, as is the case with a lot of rides that are coming to Milwaukee. They pick up more riders along the way. I guess we’re one of the last gathering points until people arrive right in Milwaukee,” the Lake Express spokesman told FOX6 News.

The Lake Express, which began service in 2004, is the nation’s first and only high-speed auto/passenger ferry.

The ferry travels multiple times each day across Lake Michigan, has terminals in both Milwaukee, Wis. and Muskegon, Mich., and completes a one-way trip in just two and one-half hours.

Ample parking and easy interstate access is available at both terminals. The ferry is capable of holding 46 vehicles and 12 motorcycles for each passage across the lake.

Travelers may buy tickets online, in person, or by phone. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-914-1010.


WEST BEND (WITI) — Campgrounds throughout southeast Wisconsin are starting to fill up with Harley-Davidson riders — and RVs pulling trailers with bikes.

During the day, those riders are usually out touring the state. At night, they return to the campsites — many of which have been booked since the end of 2012

The Bufkin family from Hattiesburg, Mississippi went the campground route for their trip to Milwaukee and Harley-Davidson’s 110th Anniversary Celebration. They also brought their two children to visit relatives in Wisconsin while they camp and attend the 110th.

“It’s hard to really explain. It kind of feels like something you do, part of owning a Harley, see where they built them, who built them, a museum full of cool things, how they design them,” said Lainee Bufkin.

Lainee Bufkin bought her Harley a few years ago at Uke’s Harley-Davidson in Kenosha. So this is a welcome home of sorts not only for her, but for her Harley.

“It’s kind of neat bringing them back to where it all started. 1903 right?” said Bufkin.

Staying with friends or at a hotel is always an option. But camping is the way to go for hundreds coming to the Harley reunion. The campsites are filling up fast.

Eric Waters owns the Lazy Days Campground in West Bend, where more than 300 sites will be full very soon.

“We’ve got people here from probably 35 different states, probably three or four different countries so it starts early,” said Waters. “We take reservations early because people try to get places that they know they got something set right away. The biggest problems with a lot of hotels is they don’t really know until like April or may what’s going on.”

You might think the party continues here at the campgrounds at night. But the owner of Lazy Days says not really. People come to the camp to get away after the parties — and gear up for the next day of fun.