Bike Night, White Rose Thunder ready to awe crowds in York


Downtown York will welcome hundreds of bikers, motorcycle enthusiasts and spectators for a weekend of roaring, motorcycle-themed fun on Friday.

On Friday night, Bike Night is hosting a motorcycle parade with vendors and live music.

The event is an annual tradition meant to coincide with White Rose Thunder, which will run on Saturday, and Harley-Davidson's open house, which began Thursday and runs through Saturday, said Mary Yeaple, coordinator for York City special events.

"It's a great time, the streets are packed, and motorcyclists come in from all over the United States," she said.

A motorcycle parade will depart from the York Expo Center at 6 p.m. and travel via Richmond Avenue and Market Street into downtown through Continental Square to Broad Street.

Dozens of restaurants and food vendors will be offering refreshments, and live music will be performed by Smoking Gunnz, Bridge Street, The HepCats and Elijah Cross.

"We have a couple of exhibitors, and new this year we have PennDOT's Live Free Ride Alive display," Yeaple said.

The display is a motorcycle safety campaign to promote messages such as getting properly licensed to ride a motorcycle, avoiding drinking and riding, and using protective riding gear, said Craig Yetter, community relations coordinator at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

"PennDOT created Live Free Ride Alive as a method to bring motorcycle safety awareness to riders in hopes of reducing motorcycle crashes and fatalities," he said.

"Riders can stop by the booth to see the latest in motorcycle training technology, sign up for or receive information on Pennsylvania's free motorcycle training for residents with a motorcycle license or permit through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program, and receive motorcycle safety tips from trained rider instructors."

White Rose Thunder: The fourth annual White Rose Thunder will take place Saturday at the York Expo Center.

"Because York Fair ran late this year, we had to condense and focus on Saturday, which has been our biggest day anyway," said Jeffrey Rehmeyer II, spokesman for White Rose Thunder.

"Saturday during the day is just a nice time for the riders in town. We're focused on our flat-track motor racing — we wanted to bring back the racing because the track at the expo center is one of the best on the East Coast."

White Rose Thunder expects a number of professional racers, and prize money will be awarded to the winners in their respective classes.

"It's easy during a day to get attached to the various racers. It's a fast-paced, exciting kind of racing — especially around the corners, you feel your adrenaline rush just watching them," Rehmeyer said.

Another popular event is the Dash for Cash, in which the biggest motorcycles compete in one race for a chance to win $1,000 in prize money.

White Rose Thunder also will feature a number of antique motorcycles dating from 1924 or earlier.

"Last year we had a 1910. They actually do some demo racing," Rehmeyer said. "It's rare to get that many together ... these are 100-year-old machines that work."

Motor Maids: This year, the Motor Maids will participate in both the Bike Night parade and White Rose Thunder's opening ceremony.

Twelve hundred women across the United States and Canada form the Motor Maids, a female-only motorcycle club celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

"We're kicking off Bike Night like we did in the past — 6 o'clock sharp from the fairgrounds," said Sammie Wisner, Motor Maid and Bike Night Committee member.

"Our theme this year is trikes, so the trikes will be up front with the grand marshals. ... It's free to the general public. All you have to do is show up."

The Motor Maids have been a staple at Bike Night since 2006, and Wisner has been involved with the Bike Night Committee since the 1990s.

"It's just a really nice way to show our thanks to the riders that come to York every year ... a lot of guys and gals bring in some extraordinarily beautiful motorcycles, and the people you meet are just fantastic," she said.

"Come down and join us, it's a great time — the food's good, and it's a nice festive mood for everybody."

Bike Night

Parade lineup begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the York Expo Center. The parade starts at 6 p.m.

Food and live music will be available at several locations until 10 p.m.

These streets in York City will be closed 5-11 p.m.: West Market Street from Pershing Avenue to Queen Street; Beaver Street and George Street between King and Philadelphia streets; Pershing Avenue between Market and Philadelphia streets. Parking will be restricted on those streets beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

For maps, a list of vendors and more information, visit or call (717) 849-2217.

White Rose Thunder

Race practice begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the York Expo Center. Opening ceremonies begin at noon, and racing will finish around 6 p.m.

Food and drink will be available all day.

Admission is $15; free parking is available.

For more information, visit