Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Parade. 5 Miles. 7000 Participants. 35,000 Collective Miles.

parade1Parade2Parade3parade4The Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary year-long global celebration (11 countries on six continents) ended in Milwaukee during Labor Day weekend with a huge motorcycle parade, probably one of America’s greatest street events. An estimated 7,000 Harley-Davidson owners, dealers and employees from around the world rolled through downtown Milwaukee for a parade route nearly five miles long from Miller Park to the Summerfest Grounds via Wisconsin Avenue, clocking in more than 35,000 collective miles, the equivalent of five round-trip journeys from New York to Los Angeles.

Sixteen-year-old Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) member Parker Anderson, from Appleton, Wis., had the special honor to wear the ‘Freedom Jacket’ during the parade. The ‘Freedom Jacket’ is a single black leather jacket that has been passed from rider to rider across 11 countries and six continents over the past year as part of Harley-Davidson’s celebration. The jacket is now on display in the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

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14 Responses to “Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Parade. 5 Miles. 7000 Participants. 35,000 Collective Miles.”


  1. 1 Bigalturk1 Sep 3rd, 2013 at 8:22 am

    After the screwing we took at the 100th anniversary (Elton John), I won’t be attending anymore of those!
    Also, after the screwing the Harley dealers took from HD corporate not long ago (Making them build larger fancier dealerships) and some of those dealers going under during the recession….
    I try to buy all my HD parts from the aftermarket dealers.

    Harley is all about the money!

  2. 2 richard Sep 3rd, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Just got back from the celebration. Arrived Thursday returned home on Sunday. A great party and atmosphere. 100,000 + bikes (is there an official count?) and all with one thing in common. We were all riding bikes that we love to ride, and we shared a sense of pride and brotherhood. The people of Milwaukee were great as was EVERY Harley representative we encountered at the various venues.

  3. 3 Blackmax Sep 3rd, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Hooray !!! Congrats to H-D for pulling off another milestone party
    No, really, No bashing here this time!!!
    It takes a lot to put something like this together & just coming out of the economy like we are.
    It’s great that they can pull it off. When they put their minds to it, nobody can do it like H-D can.
    And the faithful just keep on coming…..
    Just wondering what it will look like 5 -10 yrs from now ????

  4. 4 Woody's Sep 3rd, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    The MoCo, local dealers, and the City of Milwaukee did a great job of throwing a birthday party for the world to come enjoy. Job well done!

  5. 5 James just another crazy Kiwi Sep 4th, 2013 at 1:08 am

    I guess Rocket Man by Elton John is a Triumph song…??

    Was that the problem ??……heh heh

    It is bloody good for any company to be around for 110 years
    CONTINUOUSLY.
    Yet alone a motor vehicle manufacturer.

    Well done that man !!

  6. 6 Horst Rösler Sep 4th, 2013 at 2:20 am

    To put some water into the wine, the crowds of the 110th were a far cry from what was present at the 100th and 105th, at least at times when I was present (friday – sunday). The Industry participation and interest was down to almost zero (not counting the dealerships around Milwaukee, which I did not visit due to lack of time), with S&S, KüryAkin and J&P Cycles the “main players” at the small Dealers Area at Veteran’s Park. YES – Harley did do their best to throw a party at Summerfest Ground and Downtown, but the crowds weren’t there. Great Bands playing in front of very little audience, bicycle stunts and a wall to sign as entertainment? The Police riders contest was great, but after you’ve seen 10 riders running the parcours, you’ve seen it…

    Brady Street seemed to be tho only Daytona/Sturgis style party ground, as other event spots were not half as crowded as during previous Anniversarys.

    Where this will lead? At the 115th, the majority of riders will be on trikes, at the 120th they’ll walk on strollers (Attention HD: there’s a market coming!) – and that will include most of us journalists too, as we are not getting younger either!
    Well, those who may come back anyway – as HD tends to produce their own pictures and stories and supply them to the press. A lot of concerts were – as I also heard from other colleagues – impossible to access for photographing or even attending them. Most press members comes to Milwaukee for the passion for the brand and riding and lifestyle, but it is also work – and this time, access was limited more than ever before.

    Now arriving at European Bike Week at Faak/Austria, the attention of Authorised Dealers, Customizers, manufacturers and distributors are out in force, reminding me on how huge the 100th Anniversary craze really was… Both the “Harley Village” and the “Arneitz Custom Show” Area at Faak are bigger than all 110th Industry Activities combined. That says a lot about the state of the market.

    The light in the tunnel certainly were the activities around the HD Museum, which has become one of the most visited attractions of Milwaukee. Parking lots were crowded and lines to visit the museum (and especially the souvenir shop!) were there. Great bikes at the bikeshow on sunday. Not every Birthday lives up to the expectations – and probably I was expecting too much, which is my fault.

  7. 7 tim himes Sep 4th, 2013 at 6:50 am

    for the nay sayers. i am sure the economy had a lot to do with visitors. thank your government and don’t blame harley. i can’t think of any major manufacturer throwing a party like they did.

  8. 8 Andy Lund Sep 4th, 2013 at 7:09 am

    I don’t mean to knock what you are saying Horst, but I guess you should have been to the dealerships. I was in charge of all the vendors at Hal’s HD in Metro Milwaukee for the 100th and attended this year as a rider, so I remember, vividly, what the atmosphere was at that one location 10 years ago and I experienced them all this year. This year, in my opinion, surpassed the 100th in attendance, both riders and vendors. It is hard to compare other places around town due to their change in venues.

  9. 9 Cris Sommer Simmons Sep 4th, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I think They threw a great party! Having ridden from LA to Milwaukee for the 85th, attending the 90th, 95th and 100th I have some perspective. I met people from all over the world and everyone was smiling and happy. I’m not sure what else HD could have done to make it better. The musical acts were chosen carefully so there was something for everyone. Summerfest grounds and the museum, where we were based with our 1914 and 1915 HD’s, were packed. Again, there’s nothing I could suggest to make this event better. Hats off to Harley-Davidson! Riding my 1915 in the parade was the icing on the cake. I was so proud of my 98 year old motorcycle. That says a lot about this company!

  10. 10 tundra Sep 4th, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I’d like to thank you all for visiting our great state of Wisconsin!

    I hosted a group of six from Canada at my house and they were blown away by the number of bikes here. The Museum was absolutely crazy on Thursday. We tried there again on Saturday, banking on a smaller crowd due to the parade, but the lots were still packed. We hit House of Harley in Greenfield and Hal’s in New Berlin and both were packed to the gills – much more than what I saw for the 100th and 105th. The off-ramp to Silver Spring Road and Milwaukee Harley was backed up to hwy 45, so we kept going. Crazy stuff, but a great time had by all…

  11. 11 Gary Bang Sep 4th, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Dear Bigalturk: I guess when the screwing was going around I was in the wrong line on the 100th. I had the time of my life and every one I talked to had a smile and nothing but good to say in regards to the 100th.

    Building a bigger store if your are a Harley-dealer: That is up to the dealer if he wants to build a bigger store that is his Nickel. In other words Harley-Davidson does not make you do this you want a bigger store and Harley would also like you to have a Bigger store “If Needed”

    If we did not have Harley-Davidson the Motorcycle company we would not have a after market and this is a fact.

    Harley Davidson making Money: do you know what a public company that is traded on the stock exchange is supposed to do “Make Money” or they find someone else to run it to “Make Money” I have to say I am very blessed to be involved for so many years in the Harley-Davidson business I would not have wanted it any other way.
    Gary Bang

  12. 12 Toomey Boy Sep 5th, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Harley Davidson’s 110th Milwaukee Celebration – I came, I saw and left with a big smile on my face.
    Kudos to HD and the 4 Metro-Milwaukee Harley Dealers!!!!!!!

  13. 13 Jen Sep 9th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I actually rode in the 110th parade and it was AMAZING. Very emotional to be part of something so big. The entire city thanked us from their heart and I met people who came there from around the world, it was like a once in a lifetime experience that I was very grateful to be part of. Thank you Harley-Davidson for knowing how to throw a party. The entire weekend was a party and I loved and treasured every second of it. I can’t imagine more people coming to Milwaukee to celebrate, the amount of bikes and traffic and people everywhere was INSANE. Love love loved it and will be back in 5 years!

  14. 14 Rodent Sep 10th, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I have to agree with Horst about press access at events. Harley is getting press restrictive in order to control and restrict freedom of the press. If you follow the company line they love you, if you write the truth they hate you and restrict you. Some members of the press are suck ups and receive more.
    I will not cover MotoGP and SuperBikes any more do to the unreasonable restrictions of the owners DORMA of Spain. The same holds true for AMA now owned by NASCAR who refused me entry into the Sacremento Mile after I was credentialed by the State of California owner of the property.
    Anyway, I’d rather cover events like Quail, Bonhams, and Pebble Beach where the media is well treated.

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