LAKEWOOD RANCH — Rev up your engines: The West Coast Bike Rally again is hitting the road Oct. 8-10.
Festivities kick off with the Rock and Rumble block party event from 5:30-11 p.m., Oct. 8, on Lakewood Ranch Main Street and continue throughout the weekend, culminating in a West Coast Bike Rally Blowout Party at Peggy’s Coral in Palmetto.
Festivities are expected to draw more than 10,000 people to the area.
“It’s the biggest event in Lakewood Ranch they do annually,” event co-founder Tommy Weatherholt, vice president of sales and marketing for Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, said of the Rock and Rumble. “That is a pretty neat party.”
Kicking off the Rock and Rumble will be a live broadcast of The Cowhead Show on 102.5 The Bone. The event also will feature food, vendors and music by Pitbull Toddler and the Greg Billings Band, among other festivities. Ed’s Tavern on Main Street Lakewood Ranch is the anchor bar for the event.
New to this year’s event are Saturday’s Freedom Ride Rallies. Instead of setting up at the Sarasota Fairgrounds as in years past, Saturday’s festivities will occur at taverns and motorcycle dealerships throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties.
“This year we wanted all the events to be free,” Weatherholt said. “That’s where we came up with this hot spots concept. There’s no admission charge for anything.”
In the East County, the biggest “hot spot” event will be at Linger Lodge Restaurant and RV Resort. The campground will host a weekend of festivities with barbecue, interactive games, contests, a Born to Ride magazine bike show and a full weekend of live music. Country Music Television music award winner One Night Rodeo will perform on Saturday night.
Other highlights for Saturday include the Billy Rice Band performing at Tommy Knockers Saloon and a customer appreciation bash at Manatee River Harley-Davidson. Other locations also will be hosting festivities, including specials on drinks and food, live music, car and bike shows, a bikini bike wash and bike games.
The weekend’s festivities will conclude Oct. 10 with the 130 MJLW Poker Run. Registration starts runs from 10-11 a.m., at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, 7051 Wireless Court, Lakewood Ranch. A $10 registration gets participants a hand of cards. Participants also can purchase three hands for $20 or five for $25.
This year’s route, touted as one of the most scenic in the country by motorcycle groups, starts at Linger Lodge, heads east along State Road 70, south to Clark Road and over to Siesta Key.
“This year’s ride is 130 miles,” Weatherholt said. “You see everything from the open country to going up and down Longboat Key.”
Proceeds from the poker run will benefit Manatee Operation Troop Support, better known as MOTS, and the Blue Knights.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].
West Coast Bike Rally Schedule of Events
• Rock and Rumble — 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 8 at Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Block party includes food, vendors, music by Pitbull Toddler and the Greg Billings Band and more.
• Freedom Ride Rallies — All day, festivities are being held at more than 50 local businesses in Sarasota and Manatee counties Oct. 9. Highlights include the Billy Rice Band at Tommy Knockers Saloon in Bradenton, CMT Music Award winner One Night Rodeo performing live at Linger Lodge Resort in East County, and a customer appreciation bash at Manatee River Harley-Davidson.
• Annual Poker Run — Sponsored by the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club of Bradenton, this annual event starts with registration at 11 a.m., Oct. 10 at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, 7051 Wireless Court, Lakewood Ranch. The West Coast Bike Rally Blowout Party is finishing up the weekend at Peggy’s Corral in Palmetto.
For more details and to view the rally’s weekend “hot spots,” visit www.WestcoastBikeRally.org.