Thunder By The Bay Starts Thursday!!!

The loud growl of engines and the scream of Van Halen like guitar solos will once again fill Sarasota’s Main Street this weekend.  Yes, it’s time for the 18th Annual Thunder By The Bay, which is again, produced by and will benefit the Suncoast Charity For Children.  This year features a new expansion of fun with a block party Friday night on Hillview Street.  Residents know this is a can’t miss event, even just to marvel at the glint of chrome as you walk the bike lined streets.  Harley Davidson will be making this event even more exciting by lending some help and expertise in bikes and parties! 

The ever Iconic Milwaukee company will be bringing two of it’s traveling displays, most anticipated is the Demo Rides which will take place right outside Selby Library at 1331 First Street.  The Company hopes to raise awareness and promote it’s national “Heroes Ride Free” campaign, which is a complimentary riding academy for first responders and U.S. Military personnel (both Veterans & Active Duty).  The program will be offered at local authorized Harley Dealerships.  



Thunder by the Bay will open with a big bang, really!  The Sporting Clay Tournament returns to the 271-acre Knights Trail Park in Nokomis and will include a number of shooting ranges, with Trophies awarded for highest overall score for teams finishing first, second and third AND a pink trophy for the highest overall ladies score as well as a trophy for the top individual score.

Sporting Clay Tournament

Gun Range at Knight Trail Park, 3445 Rustic Road, Nokomis
Registration: 8:30 a.m. The Event will begin at 9 a.m. 

$125 per person/$500 team

“Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party
6:30-11 p.m. Sarasota Ford, 707 S. Washington Road, Sarasota; $100

Throw on your best biker chic outfit and come to the spectacular boozy kickoff party featuring Whiskey, Wine, Vodka and Beer tastings (Yes Please!) There will also be a silent auction, live music, an open bar and food by the talented chefs at Louies Modern. 

Tickets are limited and can be purchased in advance on the festival website. Did we mention open bar? Oh yeah we did… we’re just super excited!


“Hogs on Hillview” Block Party and “Light Up The Night”
6-11 p.m. Hillview Street, Sarasota; FREE 

The block party will feature a bike show, live entertainment and vendor displays on Hillview Street, which is home to numerous highly recommended restaurants and bars. The beloved Billy Rice Band will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. followed by a performance by the nationally-acclaimed Blues act The Sean Chambers Band from 9:15-10:15 p.m. If you can’t get enough of the music, head over for exquisite late-night entertainment at the Five O’Clock Club (1930 Hillview Street).  A full-liquor bar, dance floor and a performance by outstanding reggae band Jah Movement…sounds like the perfect way to end your Friday night, right?


Finz Finds “Cruise for Cash”
10 a.m.-12p.m. Sarasota Ford, 707 S. Washington Road, Sarasota; $20

A 50-mile ride featuring stops at both local Harley Dealerships and finishing at the Festival downtown. $4,000 in cash prizes will be awarded AND you’ll get a FREE breakfast at registration.

Downtown Festival
11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Main Street, downtown Sarasota; free

Biker heaven!  The streets will be lined with the bright glean of engines and some of the best looking motorcycles in the country.  Harley-Davidson sweetens the deal with their display and demos outside Selby Library and there will be a lot of other vendors as well, selling everything from bike gear to food and one of our favorite parts; a ton of live music. 

Check out the line up:

1-2:30 p.m. Category Three

3-4:30 p.m. Edge of Red

5-6:30 p.m. Trezz Hombers — ZZ Top Tribute Band

7-8:30 p.m. Keep the Faith — Bon Jovi Tribute Band

9-10:30 p.m. Highway to Hell — AC/DC Tribute Band: While the real AC/DC lead singer, Brian Johnson, likely will be resting his voice at his family home on Bird Key before embarking on the next leg of his band’s blockbuster arena tour, fans can enjoy the next best thing. Seriously, Highway to Hell does a great job recreating the AC/DC sound and, yes, to a lesser extent, the looks of the famed front-man from Sarasota, his guitar hero mate Angus Young and the rest of the band.


Downtown Festival
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Main Street, downtown Sarasota; FREE

Same vendors as Saturday and the Harley-Davidson display. 

Live music schedule:

12-1:30 p.m. Nuthin Fancy Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band

2-3:30 p.m. Lazy Bonez

4-5:30 p.m. Bobby Friss Band: A favorite on the Florida rock circuit for decades, Friss had a regional hit while living in Tampa with the single “You Can’t Come Back” off his 1988 album “Cut Loose.”

17 Class Bike Show
11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. registration; South Palm Avenue, downtown Sarasota; $20 per entry

Whether you’re competing or just like seeing stellar bikes, you won’t want to miss this much anticipated event! 

See you on Main Street!