SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Tomorrow, bikers from the Valley and all across the state will be descending here to the sunny tourist area known as SPI.
But, they won’t be hitting the beach like most do when they visit.
Instead, there’ll be music, rides, a bike and car show, parade, poker run and much more.
It’s the 13th annual Beach-N-Biker Fest held at the South Padre Island Convention Center.
But, beyond the burnouts, chrome-covered bikes, food vendors, rock ‘n’ roll tunes and massive motorcycle parade, this event is much more.
What most people likely don’t know … the Beach-N-Biker Fest also is a fundraiser for Valley nonprofit organizations.
Sponsored and led by the Magic Valley Riders motorcycle clubs, it is the reason organizers say they spend months preparing for the event they call “for motorcycle and car enthusiasts” along with families.
“Everything we make, except to rent the facility next year, goes back to the community,” said event co-chair Dianna Reed. “None of us makes a dime off of this and we are very proud of that fact.”
According to Reed and her co-chair Troy Allen, volunteers from various area nonprofit organizations volunteer their time to the event. It’s a win-win as the Beach-N-Biker Fest planners don’t have to pay for workers and the volunteers are given money for their charities following the help they provide at the event.
“Instead of hiring agencies for workers, every dollar goes to help,” Allen said.
He admitted many people who attend probably don’t know their fees for the event go to help local charities.
“It’s a great feeling and it allows us to give back,” Allen said of the rewarding experience. “That’s why I do it.”
This year, both Reed and Allen are hoping to break records. Reed mentioned hopes of 10,000 in attendance, while Allen said he would like to break the $50,000 in funds raised for the local organizations.
Typically the attendance hovers between 5,000 and 7,500 and it often is dependent on the weather forecast as riders are coming from other areas of Texas. Reed said in the past, riders have come from as far away as Chicago.
When bikers are riding their motorcycles down to SPI, the weather around all of Texas is key for them to determine if they hop on their two- and three-wheelers to make the trip.
Reed said efforts are being made to market the bike fest to people from San Antonio, Dallas, Austin and Lubbock among other areas of the state.
“People are starting to find out about it through word of mouth,” Reed said. “We are seeing dividends in our marketing efforts.”
This is Allen’s 10th year as part of the event. He is the current vice president of the Harlingen chapter of the Magic Valley Riders. He called South Padre Island a great destination and suggested the rally is both affordable and entertaining.
Reed also called the event a “friendly one and hopes it is the best yet.”
The event, which started in 2003 and was held at Schlitterbahn with one concert, has grown into a three-day spectacle of music, vendors and bikes.
This year, there’s even a new event — a car show, which coincides with the bike show Saturday and Sunday.
The idea is to bring in additional interest and attendance to the event. The cost to enter the car show is $50 and that includes entry into the rally all three days.
“We want more people to come here,” Reed said. “This opens it up. Usually motorcycle enthusiasts enjoy cars, too. We will see how that goes.”
While the president of the Hidalgo Magic Valley Riders chapter, Reed, is thrilled to see the new car show, she most is looking forward to the musical entertainment. She missed the first Beach-N-Biker Fest, but has been involved in the past 12. Now she books the bands.
There’s music on the main stage basically from the start of the event to the end of each night and she is especially thrilled about the arrival of Whiskey D. She said they are a popular band that will draw folks to the event, just like the other activities.
Allen is ready for the motorcycle parade, biker events and the fact that the event keeps people’s interest in many different ways.
Overall, the event brings tourists and Valley residents to South Padre Island.
“They want people to come back to the island,” Reed said about the business owners and leaders on SPI. “This brings a lot of money to the island.”
The goals are high for the 2016 event.
“Our hope always is to have a successful event,” Allen said. “That allows us to give back to the Valley.”
IF YOU GO
How much does it cost to attend?
3-day pass at the door – $30
Friday or Saturday day pass — $15
Beach-N-Bike Fest Schedule
Friday April 15
Doors Open at 9 a.m. with Music, Rides and Bikes Show
11 a.m. -1 p.m. – Rob Garcia Band
1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Supercell
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Veronique
5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Break
6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Auranova
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – David Marez
10 p.m. – 11:45 p.m. – Jimmy Gonzalez y Mazz
Saturday April 16
Doors Open at 9 a.m. with Bike Parade, Burn out, Live Music by AuraNova & Whiskey D
10 a.m. – Noon – Pelican West
Noon – 1 p.m. – Tattoo Contest
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Mars Overdrive
3:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. – The Rovers
5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. – Break
6 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Draft
7:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Mystery Event …. shhh
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Lucha Libre
10 p.m. – Midnight – Whiskey D
Sunday, April 17 – Kids Day for family fun
9 a.m. – 10 a.m. – Biker Church – CMA
10 a.m. – Noon – Rob Garcia Band
12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. – TBD
2:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Car and Biker Show Awards