Harley-Davidson Homecoming to Become Annual Event


MILWAUKEE Harley-Davidson just wrapped up its big 120th-anniversary homecoming event in Milwaukee.

The celebration that’s been held every five years is making a major pivot moving forward. The company says it will now be an annual event.

Let’s go in-depth on the change and the impact it will have on the city of festivals.

From Columbia to Milwaukee, Claudia Near and her husband rode their Harley nearly 3,000 miles to fulfill a dream.

"In Colombia, Harley-Davidson is very important,” she said.

Harley riders, representing dozens of states and countries, came to Brew City to take part in Harley-Davidson’s beloved homecoming event that’s full of parades, charity rides, and concerts along the lakefront.

"It draws people from around the world,” said Claire Koenig with VISIT Milwaukee. "It helps with Milwaukee's name recognition."

Koenig says economic impact figures from the weekend are still being calculated, but the last Harley event five years ago brought area businesses and hotels $95 million. That’s significantly more than a decade ago when the homecoming pumped an estimated $20 million into the local economy.

"I certainly think there's been an increased demand for an event like this after what everyone has been through considering the pandemic,” she said.

Harley isn’t waiting another five years to celebrate its brand and loyal customers. The company announced it’s moving to an annual event starting next year. Next summer is already packed with a full slate of festivals and the Republican National Convention in downtown Milwaukee.

"Years like that, they don't happen all that often so we just want to make sure we are maximizing the impact to the community at every turn,” Koenig said.

Harley fans can already start booking their trips back to Milwaukee for next year’s event. It’s scheduled for July 25-28, 2024.

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