Getting in the Spirit

A pair of bikers get in the Halloween spirit during the annual Biketoberfest on Main Street in Daytona Beach last year.

It won’t be look or feel the same as Biketoberfest of years gone by, but since nothing is normal this year, that is no surprise.

Still, there will be motorcycles. There will be some events. There will be some noise and people having fun. And there will be revenue coming into the area.

This year’s event is Oct. 15-18.

“The message we’re really trying to convey to visitors is that we welcome them, and that, if they do choose to visit Oct. 15-18, whether for Biketoberfest festivities or for a family/couples vacation getaway, we ask they visit responsibly,” said Lori Campbell Baker, executive director of the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Safety is paramount, and we’ve posted lots of timely messaging on daytonabeach.com to help them in planning. We’ll also be distributing Step Up Volusia’s 'Wash up. Back up. Mask up.' posters to local businesses.

“This year’s Biketoberfest offerings will include the same accommodations, restaurants, bars and attractions that these motorcycle enthusiasts have come to love,” Ms. Campbell Baker said. “While they may see fewer concerts and vendors than in past years, the miles and miles of amazing beaches, scenic rides and wide-open green spaces are always big faves.”

Biketoberfest is not one event, but a collection of activities that take place at venues and businesses in cities throughout Volusia County and beyond. While some of the things that traditionally take place, such as large-scale concerts, will not happen this year, local hotels and businesses are open. Restaurants and bars are back to full capacity. Parks and beaches are open for visitors to enjoy what should be beautiful October weather and scenic rides. The state is now fully open for business.

Biketoberfest is hosted by the many businesses that welcome visitors, so it can't be canceled like a traditional ticketed event.

Individual cities will decide whether to issue special vendor permits for activities, such as outdoor live music, food and merchandise. The location and number of vendors may be different from past rallies depending on where the venue is located.

Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona Harley-Davidson is preparing Biketoberfest events while implementing recommended safety measures. The event is planned for vendors, daily live music, bike shows and much more at the pavilion. Activities include the seventh annual Backyard Brawl Arm Wrestling by PAF Florida, Harley-Davidson Demo Truck/Test Rides, and special bike shows under The Pavilion. For more information, visit BruceRossmeyer.com

As of Sept. 28, The Progressive AFT Finale at Daytona will be Oct. 16-17 at Daytona International Speedway. But the Midway area, Harley-Davidson Thunder Alley and all of the usual activities during Fall Cycle Scene will not be in operation.

Kate Sark, Community Information Specialist for Volusia County, stated, “To remain aligned with the governor’s executive order, the Volusia County Council chose not to move forward with adopting an ordinance requiring a safety plan for businesses/itinerants for Biketoberfest events. While safety plans for businesses/itinerants are not a mandate, the county strongly encourages them.

“Volusia County Government has collaborated with our area hospitals, the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County, and other governmental agencies and human service organizations throughout the course of the pandemic,” Ms. Sark said. “Moreover, we are working closely with the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, which helps promote the event”

She added for anyone planning to engage in Biketoberfest events, or any public event in which there is risk for transmission of the coronavirus, the county cannot stress enough the importance in heeding the tenets of the county’s Step Up Volusia campaign: Wash Up. Back Up. Mask Up.

The Official Welcome Center will be the Visitor Information Center at Daytona International Speedway, 1801 W. International Speedway Blvd. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 to Saturday, Oct. 17 and noon to 3 p.m Sunday, Oct. 18.

For more information, visit Biketoberfest.org.

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