Hundreds of thousands of people gather from all corners of the world. Some people take months off of work; others quit their jobs. They come from South America, Europe, Asia, and even Australia—and from all across the United States. You can hear them coming miles away as they outnumber cars on every highway.
Of course this gathering can be in only one place: the home of Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee, WI.
On August 28th 2008 Harley owners came together for a four-day celebration of Harley-Davidson’s 105th Anniversary. With the new Harley Museum opening its doors and 500,000 Harley Owners Group (HOG) worldwide members in attendance, this family reunion was bigger than ever.
The experience began with the purchase of a ticket for the main event. With each ticket Harley included a gift set containing a commemorative 105th Harley bracelet, a Harley-branded leather wallet with a key chain, and an American and Harley flag to wave from your bike. Every day, Harley dealers across the state of Wisconsin held parties in celebration with live music, great food, and plenty of beer. Harley made everyone feel like part of the family.
The main event was held at the Summerfest grounds. With four music stages featuring artist like Los Lonely Boys, ZZ Top, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many more, it was hard not to have fun. Harley-Davidson bike displays were positioned throughout the grounds and included a traveling Harley Museum, exotic custom Harleys, and plenty of Harley merchandise. Everywhere you looked people where laughing, dancing, and having fun.
The party was not limited to Harley Davidson sponsored events. The entire City of Milwaukee became part of the celebration. Bikers were given free parking all around the city including at the Milwaukee art museum and at the summerfest grounds. Many restaurants and bars around the city held events for bikers every night. Even hotels outfitted their lobbies with Harley Davidson Motorcycle displays and memorabilia. Every detail resembled the look and feel of the 105th Anniversary logo. The entire city of Milwaukee became a Harley haven.
The Harley parade charged the city with excitement. It was a very special event for Harley owners since only 75,000 riders were chosen out of 150,000 riders who registered. Riders began lining up at 6:00am, four hours before the start of the parade. The five-mile route was filled with Harley enthusiast waiting to cheer their fellow HOG members. The parade began with dozens of Police motorcycle units with blaring sirens. Behind them came the Harleys cruising through downtown Milwaukee. The roaring engines echoed off the buildings and the crowd fed on it. Riders proudly waived their countries flag alongside their HOG chapter flags.
Harley’s rallies create Brand Lovers that have no comparison. Every HOG event pushes riders to rally more often and to meet more people. This strengthens the friendships between riders and re-enforces an emotional bond to the Harley brand. It does not matter where you’re from, how old you are, or what you do for a living, if you own a Harley you are family. The brotherhood transcends gender, class, and race.
Harley-Davidson embraces the family and showcases the good times had at the 105th anniversary. They allow the experience to live on.
Harley-Davidson’s 105th Anniversary
The Cult Branding team joined HOGs from around the world in Milwaukee for the 105th Anniversary event to learn more about their love for Harley-Davidson. Check out what we learned.
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