Chrome and leather will ride into Cape Coral this weekend as the first ever Biker Florida Festival combines with the season's last Cape Coral Bike Night for an unprecedented two days of fun.
Hosted by the city's Parks and Recreation Department, the Cape Coral Bike Night will take place Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. along Southeast 47th Terrace, between Coronado Parkway and Vincennes Boulevard. The celebration, held four times from October to April, offers live music and vendors.
The motorcycle extravaganza will continue on Sunday with the Biker Florida Festival, which is set from 1 to 9 p.m. inside and outside the Dixie Roadhouse. Ten local and regional bands will perform on three stages, with the headliner being Jimmie Van Zant. Bike exhibitions and activities are planned.
Todd King, the city's special events coordinator, explained that for eight years the Cape has been hosting the Cape Coral Bike Nights. After examining multi-day events, like the Leesburg Bikefest, it decided to partner up with the Dixie and hold events to serve as a trial run for possible expansion.
"We're kind of exploring, in a partnership kind of way, a weekend event," he said.
Sunday's Biker Florida Festival was organized by the Dixie.
If You Go:
Cape Coral Bike Night,
followed by the
Biker Florida Festival
Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., then Sunday
from 1 to 9 p.m.
Southeast 47th Terrace, from Coronado Parkway to Vincennes Boulevard
and Dixie Raoadhouse at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace.
"If you're a motorcycle enthusiast, this is going to be a big weekend," King said. "People can come down and spend the weekend and enjoy - it's almost going to be a motorcycle weekend."
David Townsend, co-owner of the Dixie, explained that they planned the Biker Florida Festival to piggyback on the city's event in the hopes of attracting bikers from more than 100 miles away.
"We want bikers to come from Tampa, Orlando, West Palm, Fort Lauderdale and Miami," he said.
If the trial run is a success, the first and last Bike Nights of each season could be expanded.
On Saturday, the music will kick off at 6 p.m. ROCKER will perform both sets on one stage, while Mike Imbasciani & his BluezRockerz and the Grayson Rogers Band will take the other stage.
"We are doing the two stages, the country stage and the rock 'n' roll stage," King said.
He described ROCKER as a classic rock 'n' roll band that plays all the favorites.
"We're just excited to have them playing out event," he said.
The city is expecting 120 vendors, as compared to the 80 to 100 at the previous events.
"There is going to be 40 more vendors than we normally had," King said.
People can register for the Harley Slow Bike Race Competition for a chance to win a gift card.
"The winner is the person who goes the slowest in a head-to-head ride, without putting their feet down," he said. "They really enjoy it - it's a real skill."
Also Saturday, the Hooters girls will be on site with a dunk tank to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer. King noted that there will also be bull riding available, courtesy of the Dixie.
On Sunday, the 10 bands scheduled cross various genres of music.
"Mostly rock, some classic rock and current," Townsend said.
The stages will be set up outside and inside of Dixie and on the patio at Rack'em Billiards. Until Jimmie Van Zant takes the inside stage at 6 p.m., all of the bands will be performing outside.
Van Zant is related to members of the original Lynryd Skynyrd band. Some of the local bands will include Nine Mile Drive and Before the Fire. BlackWater is opening for Jimmie Van Zant.
Admission into the Dixie for the Van Zant concert is $5, but the festival is free.
Along with the music, there will be a 10-class bike competition.
"People can enter their bike and then they get prizes and trophies and awards," he said.
A sexy bikerwear fashion show will be held throughout the day.
"We have a bike trick exhibition, which is a group of stunt drivers that tour all around the county," Townsend said. "There will be several exhibitions all day."
From 2 to 4 p.m., Vineyard Community Church will host a Blessing of the Bikes.
About 50 vendors will be on site with merchandise, like bikerwear, sunglasses and T-shirts.
"All events are for all ages," he said.
Food and drinks will be available for purchase on Saturday and Sunday.
According to King, each Cape Coral Bike Night draws between 10,000 and 15,000 people.
"We're preparing for a bigger crowd," he said of this weekend.
Organizers are anticipating that up to 18,000 people may turn out for the festivities.
The Dixie Roadhouse is at 1023 S.E. 47th Terrace.