Today marks the first day of Harley-Davidson‘s 115th Anniversary weekend. Between August 29 and September 2, Milwaukee will host hoards of bikers and motorcycle enthusiast who have come out to celebrate one of our city’s most renowned exports. In addition to official events associated with the weekend, a variety of local businesses will get in on the fun with block parties, concerts, film screenings, and races suited for bikers.

There’s far too much happening to be able to mention everything (this is a good start, though), we’ve combed the listings for some standout events you can enjoy between now and Sunday. Here are 13 of the best.

Wednesday, August 29
L.A. Witch + Moonwalks, and Whips @ Cactus Club
Though not technically Harley-affiliated, you’d be hard-pressed to find a group of bands better suited for bikers on Wednesday night than this. The last time L.A. Witch came to Cactus Club, the dark and dour rock trio was an up-and-coming band that was just starting to turn some heads. This time around, they’re an established band that’s here to stay. The (you guessed it) Los Angeles outfit returns to the site of their first Milwaukee show as part of a tour in belated support for last year’s self-titled debut. Moonwalks will play before them and Whips will ensure this mid-week show is great from top to bottom with some local flavor in the opening slot.

Wednesday, August 29 to Sunday, September 2
Kickoff Party + Harley-Davidson 115th and HOG 35th Moto-Carnival @ Veteran’s Park
Head to Veteran’s Park every day of the long anniversary weekend for a Moto-Carnival. The HOG event includes a wide range of entertainment, such as Dyno Drags, helicopter rides, carnival rides, stunt shows, and a “Globe of Death.” You had us at “Globe Of Death.” There’s also going to be live music. Jackyl is even playing one night!

Thursday, August 30
Harley 115th Pre-Party with Goodnight, Texas and Old Man Luedecke @ The Cooperage
Before the Walker’s Point venue goes all out for Boone Row III (more on that later), The Cooperage will host a pre-party with performances by Goodnight, Texas and Old Man Luedecke.

Thursday, August 30 to Saturday, September 1
H-D 115th Police and Civilian Skills Competition @ Miller Park
This so-called “motorcycle rodeo” brings trained motor officers and other civilian trick riders to Miller Park to test their skills through challenging patterns.

Friday, August 31
Flat-Out Friday Pre-Race Party @ UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena

As you file into Panther Arena to watch motorcyclists race on a surface covered in Dr. Pepper syrup (more on that later), take in the sweet sounds of Whips, Telethon, Denny Lanez, Faux Fiction, and Taj Raiden. It’s going to be awesome.

Friday, August 31
Flat-Out Friday @ UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena
Okay, so we said “more on that later” earlier. That was a lie. Motorcycle racers ride on top of Dr. Pepper syrup and it’s fucking awesome. Need we say more?

Friday, August 31
Harley-Davidson 115th Tosa Street Celebration with The Hot Reds @ Rotary Performance Pavilion
Milwaukee isn’t the only city celebrating Harley’s anniversary. Yes, the fun will continue in Wauwatosa, where a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band called The Hot Reds will perform.

Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1
Harley 115 Block Party On Arlington @ Garage
Out on Milwaukee’s East Side, Brady Street will transform into “Mini Sturgis” with tons of bike parking, and Arlington Place being shut down Friday and Saturday for a block party. There will be DJs, food, drinks, and tons upon tons of choppers.

Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1
Milwaukee Motorcycle Film Festival @ Oriental Theatre
The newly-reopened Oriental Theatre will add an artsy element to the weekend, as the historic movie house will screen a trio of motorcycle-themed classics in what’s being called the Milwaukee Motorcycle Festival. Friday will bring about a 9:40 p.m. showing of Psychomania (in 35 mm). Saturday will feature The Wild One and Sugar And Spade.

Friday, August 31 to Sunday, September 2
Boone Row III @ Boone & Crockett and The Cooperage
With more room to work with and more exhaust fumes in the air, the third installment of Boone Row plans to do it big. Inside and outside, psych-minded outfits like Lumerians (Oakland), Telekinetic Yeti (Dubuque), and the Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show (“the best liquid light show in the entire country”) will provide the tunes and, well, liquid light shows. Local heavy hitters like Tigernite, King Eye & The Squirts, and Slow Walker will be on hand as well. (Kraemer’s Moon Rats will be celebrating the vinyl release of their excellent 2017 record Highway Lord.) HERE is the full schedule.

If that wasn’t enough, Milwaukee’s own Rebel HellRiders will be setting up their Wall of Death outside the Boone/Cooperage complex, joining a host of food and drink vendors. What’s a Wall of Death? This is a Wall of Death.

Friday, August 31 to Sunday, September 2
Motorcycle Alley @ 5th Street in Walker’s Point
This weekend, a thoroughfare in Walker’s Point will be a popular hangout for bikers. From Friday through Sunday, 5th Street will become Motorcycle Alley. There will be tons of neighborhood restaurants and bars involved, various vendors, and tons of bands.

Saturday, September 1
Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker with Russell Dickerson @ American Family Insurance Amphitheater
We’re not sure what this show has to do with Harley-Davidson’s anniversary, but it’s officially part of the festivities for some reason. As long as Hootie himself is involved, we’ll let it slide.

Saturday, September 1
H-D 115 Bradford Beach Brawl @ Bradford Beach

Watching motorcycles race on the sand at Bradford Beach for the first time in more than 100 years? Yes, please.

About The Author

Tyler Maas
Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.