Organizers of York City's 16th annual Bike Night are hoping tradition will draw people to the event, though this Friday marks the first year it won't be held in conjunction with an open house at the nearby Harley-Davidson factory.
The annual street party -- held in the streets around York's Continental Square -- typically drew a crowd of about 20,000, a goal the city is hoping to reach again this year, said Kelly LeMay, a spokeswoman with Inside Out Creative, which organizes city events.
Bike Night typically drew crowds that lingered for the weekend because of activities -- such as test rides of new Harley bikes -- being held at the plant.
Embroiled in restructuring at the plant, the company announced earlier this year that it was skipping the open house for at least this year. It's still the main sponsor of Bike Night and will be open for tours during normal hours.
LeMay said a "Pride and Ride" being sponsored by local television station Fox 43 on Saturday might help to stretch out the event. There are few changes for this year's event, being held Friday, she said.
"Other than (the Pride and Ride), it's pretty hard to tell how
it's going to turn out," she said. "We're hoping we have the same amount of people come out, but it's very hard to predict. I think for years and years and years people were coming to York for this weekend, and we're hoping that tradition continues without the open house."
This year's theme is antique bikes, and a group of 12 will lead a parade of 2,000 motorcycles as it moves east on West Market Street from York Expo Center to downtown York, she said.
People can buy tickets to vote for their favorite bikes, with proceeds benefiting other city recreational activities, she said. The winner receives a trophy.
The antique bike riders will serve as parade grand marshals, along with the York County Harley-Davidson Owner Association and the Christian Motorcycle Association.
Live entertainment will be held on three stages this year, with performances by the bands Smokin' Gunnz, American Posse and Rock Candy. There will also be street vendors selling food and various wares.
About the event
York City's 16th annual Bike Night will be 6-10 p.m. Friday in the streets surrounding York's Continental Square, the intersection of George and Market streets.
The event kicks off with a West Market Street parade of 2,000 motorcycles leaving the York Expo Center at 6 p.m.
The following streets will be closed from 5:30-11 p.m., with restricted parking starting at 4 p.m.
---Market Street from Pershing Avenue to Queen Street
---Beaver Street from West King Street to West Philadelphia Street
---George Street from King Street to Philadelphia Street
---Pershing Avenue from West King Street to West Philadelphia Street
People traveling in downtown York should expect delays while the roads are closed. King and Princess streets can be used as alternate routes for east and west bound travel.
For more information about Bike Night, visit www.yorkcity.org or call 848-9339.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdis patch.com, or follow her on Twitter at @dispatchbiz wiz.