One of the more macho hobbies aims to give children in a tough spot a reason to smile.
The 14th Annual Thunder By the Bay Motorcycle Festival kicks off Friday to raise money for the Suncoast Charities for Children, which serves children who have special needs. More than $800,000 has been raised from the annual event.
This year’s festival is presented by and and is one of the most attended motorcycle cestivals in Florida.
The fun begins with the Born To Be Wild kickoff Party at 7 p.m. Friday at the . Tickets are $15 at the door and features a silent auction, casino style gaming, and live music by The Billy Rice Band.
New this year is a free Downtown Festival both Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Main Street in Downtown Sarasota.
The two-day festival features nine bands on the Jagermeister Stage, vendor displays, great food and a 15-class bike show on Sunday. Bike parking is available on Main Street between Pineapple Gulf Stream Avenues and on
South Palm Avenue between Main and McAnsh Streets.
Here's your Saturday band schedule:
• Shotgun Justice — 1 to 2:30 p.m.
• Tucci Group — 3 to 4:30 p.m.
• The Boneshakers — 5 to 6:30 p.m.
• The Lauren Mitchell Band — 7 to 8:30 p.m.
• Highway To Hell — 9 to 11 p.m.
Sunday starts with a Blessing of the Bikes at 9 a.m. Also on Sunday there will be a “Cruise for Cash” Scenic Beach Ride for motorcycles offering $4,000 in cash prizes. Registration is from 9 to 11 a.m. at O’Leary’s Tiki Bar and Grill, 5 Bayfront Drive.
Saturday is Dealer Day and “3-2-1” Cash Giveaways being held at, Manatee River Harley-Davidson, , and Sarasota Ford. This is where winners will be announced at the Downtown Festival for $300, $200 and $100 prizes. Winners do not have to be present to win and must collect cash prize directly from the dealership where ticket was purchased.
Here is your Sunday band schedule:
• RJ Howson Band — 11 a.m. to noon
• Come Back Alice Band — 12:30 to 2 p.m.
• Damon Fowler — 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
• The Bobby Friss Band — 4:30 to 6 p.m.
• MarcAnthony Roman — noon to 4 p.m. (Located on Palm Avenue)
For more information, visit thunderbythebay.org.