Harley-Davidson Prepares to Celebrate Its 100th
MILWAUKEE, Aug. 7 When Harley-Davidson throws a party,
Milwaukee rumbles. When the Company celebrates 100 years of the world's
greatest motorcycles -- the earth will shake. To make sure no one is left out,
Harley-Davidson announced today that its 100th Anniversary will be a yearlong
celebration that spans the globe, visiting several continents and numerous
cities before culminating in the party of the century in Milwaukee, Wis., on
Sunday, August 31, 2003. And everyone, Harley owners to Harley dreamers, is
invited to attend.
Immediately following Harley-Davidson's dealer meeting in Milwaukee in
July 2002, where more than 6,000 dealership owners and staff will get a sneak
peek at the 100th anniversary motorcycles, the Motor Company plans to fire up
its "Open Road Tour," a rolling birthday party with stops in the United
States, Mexico, Australia, Europe and Japan. In summer of 2003, the
festivities move back to the United States. Riders from around the world will
saddle up for their trek to Wisconsin, called The Ride Home, where they'll
take part in four days of festivities in and around Milwaukee. Through this
activity, along with Harley-Davidson dealer-sponsored events, riders will work
together with the Company to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy
"I'm sure my grandfather and his brothers never dreamed that in just 100
years, the entire world would be celebrating the birth of Harley-Davidson
motorcycles," said Willie G. Davidson, vice president of Styling and grandson
of one of the Motor Company's founding fathers.
And What a Century It Has Been
Harley-Davidson began in a shed, went to war, became the symbol of
American freedom and individualism, then ended up "king of the road," all in a
short 100 years.
The deep roots of the Harley-Davidson legend began in 1903, in a 10x15-
foot shed in the Davidson family backyard. Together with family friend William
S. Harley, the Davidson brothers (William D., Walter and Arthur) crafted their
first motorcycle using the best available tools they had - their hands and
ingenuity. Starting in 1903, they built three of the first model motorcycle,
and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company began its 100-year journey.
The Open Road Tour
Following the dealer meeting in July of 2002, the roar of Harley-Davidson
will hit the open road during a series of traveling festivals across the
globe. Beginning at four stops in North America, which are yet to be
determined, the tour will then move south to Mexico. The tour will jump
continents to Australia and Japan before wrapping up with two events in Europe
during the summer of 2003.
The festivals will include something for everyone in the Harley-Davidson
family, motorcycle riders and non-riders alike, including live music and a
celebration of Harley-Davidson history and attitude. While exact details of
events at each of the Open Road Tour stops are not available at this time,
company spokespeople say the stops will have live music, exhibits and enough
local flavor to transform 20 to 25 acres into Hog heaven for Harley fans of
"As a Company we felt that we needed a full year of celebrations to ensure
that all of the Harley-Davidson family around the globe could be a part of
this historic occasion," said Joanne Bischmann, vice president of Marketing
for Harley-Davidson. "The Open Road Tour allows us to carry the spirit of
Harley-Davidson around the world."
The Ride Home
There is nothing better than coming home. Modeled after the Harley Owners
Group (H.O.G.) touring rallies, the Motor Company will encourage enthusiasts
from across North America to come home during four Company-sponsored rides
that will start at the four corners of the country to celebrate 100 years on
the open road.
During these rides, Harley enthusiasts will share the camaraderie of the
open road, while stopping in several cities en route to celebrate their epic
journey. Harley-Davidson events will take place at dealerships, in town
centers and at major historical sites along the road.
As Harley-Davidson riders from around the globe arrive for the 100th, the
state of Wisconsin and city of Milwaukee become the setting for the largest
birthday celebration the world has ever seen.
Over 200,000 people are expected to celebrate with Harley-Davidson during
three-day festivals, which will include events in Milwaukee as well as other
Wisconsin locations. These events will include entertainment, displays, food
and, of course, lots of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The events will take
place Thursday, August 28, 2003 through Saturday, August 30, 2003. Tickets
will be required for some of the activities. More information on locations,
tickets and events will be available early next year.
The Party of the Century
The event to launch Harley-Davidson into the next 100 years will occur in
Milwaukee's Veteran's Park on the shore of Lake Michigan on Sunday, August 31,
2003. It is expected to draw more than 200,000 people for one of the biggest
birthday parties the world has ever seen. The free, main stage event will
feature big-name, live entertainment and be the centerpiece of the yearlong
"We are excited to share our heritage and the Harley-Davidson experience
with all of our family and friends around the globe," said Jeffrey Bleustein,
chairman and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson, Inc. "I hope
everyone can take part in this historic celebration."
As information about the 100th becomes available to the public, it will be
posted on a special section of the Harley-Davidson Web site,
http://www.harley-davidson.com . The company has also established a 100th
Anniversary Hot Line at 800-HD100th (800-431-0084) or locally at 414-343-4116.