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We visited Leesburg, Florida this weekend for their annual Leesburg
Bikefest™ for the first time. When this city extends out a hand to the
biker community and says “welcome bikers” they show they mean it.
The city of Daytona Beach should look at the way that this city plans
and organizes a motorcycle event, there are lessons that could be
learned. The city of Leesburg and the Leesburg Partnership has
accomplished in the past 10 years what has taken Daytona Beach only a couple of
years to destroy in their town. The Leesburg Bikefest ™. is well organized and
planned in what appears to be total community effort to ensure the
event goes well and that the visitors to Leesburg will not only want
to return, but that they feel wanted!
Let's begin by looking at the way that the “main street” is used. When the good people in the city of Leesburg close off the street for Bikefest and leave it open to motorcycles only, it means just that. Motorcycle parking both sides of the street and in the center as well. The only obvious exception to motorcycle parking is of course not to block intersections or crosswalks. There is barley enough room for a trike to get through on Main street shortly after 9:30 in the morning. The street is lined from end to end and down the center with every type of motorcycle you can imagine. The only exception to the motorcycles only rule that I witnessed was an occasional open golf cart used for transporting needed supplies. Parking is free for your motorcycle as long as you get to the city early. After the free main street parking gets full, the lots begin to take in bikes at $5.00 to park. But, you can still park past the barricades on main and even several blocks over for free if you search.
Prices are extremely in line, with the price of an official T
shirt starting at only $10.00, soda or water a buck and beer $3.00
and up. You find it easier to pull out your wallet and don't have
that I got ripped feeling at the end of the day. The concerts that
are held on three different stages are all free and many other lines
of entertainment are included such as the Team X-Treem show, Fere
thrill show and the Rats Hole Bike Show. The biggest and Main stage
is set up in front of the city government building with this year's
acts that included Leon Russell and Foghat appearing at about 9:00 at
running until 11. You can walk through the streets of Bikefest with
a brew or drink in your hand without being arrested. The Leesburg
Police are present, but do not interfere with having a good time. We
witnessed no incidents or complaints of trouble the entire weekend including tickets.
|Leesburg Bikefest photo gallery|
Surrounding landmarks of interest while in the Leesburg area.