Warren Smith says he considers fellow bikers brothers and sisters.
“The camaraderie, togetherness, and we watch out for each other,” said Smith, who is also the vice president of the York Motorcycle Club.
So, he says the annual Harley Davidson open house on the same day as York Bike Night is a family reunion.
“A lot of people look forward to it, the hotels are usually full. But this year, it’s sad, it’s really sad,” said Smith.
But this year, the long standing York County tradition is coming to an end after Harley Davidson announced they will no longer participate.
“I said, ‘Oh s***!’ Because like I said, it brings a lot of revenue into the city,” said Smith.
A spokesman for Harley Davidson tells us the decision to end the open house is connected to their growth plan designed to help build the next generation of Harley riders.
They will continue to be a sponsor for York Bike Night, and will run tours through Friday.
But they will not be open on Saturday, which is when the Bike Night parade takes place.
But Bike Night committee members say they will work twice as hard to make the event great on its own.
And the first step is making Bike Night, Bike Week.
“We have an opening night at Quaker Steak and Lube out on Route 30 and then there are other restaurants and bars that have things going on Thurdsday, Friday, and Saturday. And there’s going to be some big surprises coming and hopefully we can announce those really soon,” said Sue Adams, committee member for Bike Night.
Events will be happening Thursday, September 19th through Saturday, September 21st.
And local businesses that participate year after year say Harley Davidson’s decision won’t change their mind.
“Because we have so much going on that weekend from noon until 1am, events, live music, it turns out to be one of our biggest weekend of the year,” said Annette Fullerton Thoman, owner of Tourist Inn.
Because even without the open house, bikers say Harley Davidson is a part of the York County culture.
“I tell everyone, you go to Hershey and you see the street lights there are Hershey kisses so you absolutely know the Hershey factory is there. You come to York County and you’re going to see a lot of Harley Davidson’s, because guess what, the final assembly plant is here,” said Adams.
Anyone interested in getting involved with york bike week is encouraged to reach out to the organizers.