‘Tis the season for sunshine, bikes, cold beer, and old friends. While attributing motorcycle riding to a “brotherhood” or “sisterhood” leads you down the path of a fraternity or sorority mentality that might not be best attributed the culture en masse — there is something about being around other bikers.
Motorcycle culture creates a kind of small town friendliness, especially when you go where bikes and bikers are a regular fixture in the community. The bike is a talking point and an ice breaker and being around others who share your interest creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie. These festivals, held in every corner of the U.S., are known for bringing people together — from the bikers to the bike enthusiasts to the bike-curious.
1. 70th Anniversary 2017 Hollister Independence Rally
June 30th – July 2nd, 2017 | Hollister, CA | More Info
Since 1947, the Hollister Independence Rally has been serving up motorcycles, live music, local eats, and vendors selling every accessory you can imagine on the main drag of Hollister, California. Rumor has it that the rally inspired the iconic image of the “American Biker” as depicted in the 1953 cult classic film The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin.
2. Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally 2017
July 13th – July 16th, 2017 | Sturgis, KY | More Info
Formerly known as the “Little Sturgis Rally,” the Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally isn’t small with around 16,000 attendees. The rally has grown ten times since its start in 1993. The event is held in a small town in Union County, Kentucky (population 2,000). The rally is 21+ and features a bike show, charity poker competition, dirt drags, indoor bike games, burnout contest, pudding wrestling matches and wet t-shirt contests. A majority of attendees camp in nearby RV parks.
3. Hog Wild Coastal Rally
July 27th – July 30th, 2017 | Ocean Shores, WA | More Info
Set against the naturally stunning backdrop of the Northwestern United States, the Hog Wild Coastal Rally is held annually in Ocean Shores, Washington at Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. The event features good eats, bike accessory vendors, poker matches, a drawing for a 2017 Indian motorcycle, and all-day all-night live music — including Hell’s Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band.
4. Testical Festival (Testy Festy!)
August 2nd – August 6th, 2017 | Clinton, MT | More Info
The Testical Festival is an event held in several small towns across the U.S. where the main attraction is deep fried animal testicles, typically from cattle (though it’s rumored that the first one was held in Byron, Illinois and featured deep fried turkey testes). This particular “Testy Festy” is set in Clinton, Montana. Similar to the Hog Wild Coastal Rally, this is a small festival set against a stunning backdrop for biking throughout your stay. The festival in Clinton features testicle eating contests, live music, DJs, and various sideshows.
5. 77th Annual 2017 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
August 4th – August 13th, 2017 | Sturgis, SD | More Info
The annual tradition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota dates back to 1938, when the first rally was held by a club of Indian Motorcycle riders called the Jackpine Gypsies. The club still owns and operates the tracks, hillclimb, and field areas where the rally is held. Attendance for this epic bike rally have historically been around half a million people, with the highest recorded being just over 700,000. Sturgis is best known for the Black Hills Run, which is a historic route through the pine forested mountains of the Black Hills — a unique and scenic ride.