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Old 05-25-2011, 03:20 AM
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Default Harley homecoming

How many have you been to and which ones were your best?

As of the 105th, I've been to all of them and very much plan to be at the 110th.
Here's a little story on how I got hooked and why I'll keep going Back.
Back in "86", there was a bunch of us that rode around together in a small club and one of our members landed a job at Harley-Davidson Juneau Facilities in Milwaukee as a Maintenance Supervisor. Shortly afterwards, our buddy informed us that Harley was planning on putting together their first "Homecoming Party" for the 85th anniversary of H-D. This party was to be the kick-off party leading up to the 100th anniversary of H-D. The 85th anniversary party was to be the biggest thing that hit Milwaukee since the State Fair. Our buddy managed to convince H-D to have our little group do some volunteer work for the occasion and that year we all ran a "Coat & Helmet Check" at the fairgrounds. Later that evening while running around checking out all the bands that were playing, we could not find a pack of cigarettes anywhere - everyone was sold out! We all put our money together and ran out to buy a dozen or so cartons of smokes, brought them back to the fairgrounds and made a killing - if I recall correctly, we sold them for $4.00 a pack and they sold-out by the end of the night. Rat's bike wouldn't start, had a bad battery, so we wound up sitting around all night B-S ing.
The 90th anniversary opened up new challenges for the lot of us. We were asked if we thought if we could handle parking the "Parade of Bikes" which included H-D VIP's, celebrities, members of the Armed Forces, Gerry's Kids, Hog Chapters and others as they arrived at the Fairgrounds. We were up to the challenge and in for one hell of a day! One lesson I learned that day, you DON'T wear ridding boots while trying to park 20,000 Hot, Angry, Miserable, Wore Out Bikers! By the end of the day, I could not walk.
The 95th anniversary was almost a carbon copy of the 90th except this time I brought along some sneakers! Needless to say, my feet were very happy! The party was at its best with a lot more headliners and a ton of other things to do at the fairgrounds. Thousands upon thousands of people everywhere, great fun, great people, and the best looking bikes you've ever seen.
The 100th anniversary had brought major changes to the entire program. this was to be the Party of Party's! and rightly so. Our group of guys had dwindled over the years and now we had 3 of us left. Fedge at H-D, Fathead and myself. This year Scotty rode up and joined up with us to do some crowd control at the "Controversial Concert of the Decade" Elton John & Kid Rock! The Doobie Brothers started out the show and they were fantastic as usual! Elton, well you know, Elton is Elton and Kid Rock is a puke! (my opinion). Anyway, this party was the party. There was so many things going on at the same time, you couldn't possibly see everything you wanted to see. For our little band of misfits, we were up by 3:30am, at the plant or someplace else by 5:00am, running traffic control, crowd control, some security and now we supervised the parking of the "Parade of Bikes". This time, more people than ever! People from all around the world, Bikes from all around the world. People lined-up waiting to get married on the steps of the Juneau Facilities. Just absolutely amazing and a fantastic time! Then get to bed about 2:30am just to do it all over again at 3:30am. I barely lasted for 4 days and at the end of it, Scotty's bike broke down, took it to Fedge's house, then Scotty drove my cage for the next 3 hours while I fell asleep.
The 105th Anniversary was somewhat similar to the 100th as far as our volunteer work was concerned, except this time I Supervised the landing of the "Parade of Bikes" while Fedge and Fathead rode with the Parade. (they got special badges, and I got a new pair of sneakers!) The one thing that stuck in my mind about this event, the opening of the H-D Museum. Fedge had managed to get some passes for this and we enjoyed some dinner and a tour of the museum late the first evening. If you haven't seen the museum, you need to put it on your "have to do list" next time you're in Milwaukee. Tons of things to do, millions of people to meet and more sites to see than ever! We ended the week by seeing "The Boss" Bruce, which wound up being a usual concert where the jerks in front of you acted like 2 year olds and ruined the entire concert - Jumping up and down, screaming like little girls, spilling their beer everywhere. I lasted about 1/2 the show, said my goodbyes to my buddies then drove out to Madison to spend the night with my son and daughter.
Being able to share this event with some old friends makes it worth it while. Something that will leave a permanent imprint in my mind and in my heart - this is why I'll keep coming back.
Old 05-25-2011, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for sharing!
Old 05-26-2011, 04:58 PM
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Was at the 100th and the 105th. The 100th was the most fun but the Elton fiasco was a total downer. After waiting for like what was forever, they finally rolled that fat puke out on stage and he proceeded to tell everyone he didnt know any "motorcycle songs". We, like THOUSANDS of others promptly left the field. Remember riding home the next day in the rain, all day, in the rain, in the rain, in the rain. Was also at Atlanta in 2002 for the "pre-100th" rally. It was HOT!
Old 05-26-2011, 08:32 PM
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Thanks for sharing, cool memories!
Old 05-27-2011, 08:27 AM
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i have been at them all too. the 85th was the most fun for me followed by the 90th. the 95th was ok...... i guess. the 100th i didn't buy tickets for any official HD activities but i was in milwaukee for the other stuff going on. the 105th was a good time as i was with some old friends that a hadn't seen in a long time.
Old 05-27-2011, 11:39 AM
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I went to the 100th. Had a good time. Saw hundreds walk out on Elton John.

The 105th was nice, but I enjoyed the events at nearby HD dealers more than what HD planned.
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