SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — Bike Fest is back and it’s stronger than ever.
The event slogan “Roar by the Shore” is an accurate statement for the event expected to draw thousands of bikers from as far north as Michigan and as far west as California.
Bike Fest 2017’s “Roar by the Shore” is being billed as the year’s first major motor cycle event in Texas and it is set for the island this weekend, Friday through Sunday at the SPI Convention Center.
“Bikers have cabin fever right now,” said Keith Arnold, SPI Convention and Visitors Bureau director.
He said it’s the winter time, the Super Bowl is over and bikers are looking for a chance to get out on the road.
Bike Fest got its start on the Island and was an annual event for 19 years before moving to Corpus Christi in 2013.
“We are very excited to have them back,” Arnold said. “It’s really important for us Bike Fest is coming in right before Spring Break hits.”
He said the hotel rooms that have been blocked for the event are booked.
“They want to ride,” Arnold said. “Only a site so far down in Texas like ours could make this work.”
He said 1,200 to 18,000 people are expected to descend on the Island riding their motorcycles.
“Our hope is that it will be good,” Arnold said. “They have been promoting at all the rallies that have taken place this year.”
Bike Fest brings many vendors to the event. And offer many entertaining contests and biker games.
“We are ecstatic to come back,” said G.J. Reyna, Bike Fest president. “This is home for us and this is where it all started.”
Bike Fest is a nonprofit with 25 volunteers who organize the event.
Reyna said in 2007 the Island causeway was shut down because more than 40,000 people and thousands of motorcycles were on the Island.
The perennial event pulled out of the Island in 2013 and relocated to Corpus Christi. Now the organizers want to hold both events annually.
“Our local businesses are excited to have the event back,” said Arnold. “We know it’s going to have a good impact on our lodging but certainly our restaurants and our economy.”