Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary – the party that rocked Europe

The sale of the first ever Harley-Davidson® motorcycle to a school mate of bike builders William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson in 1903 was probably, at the time, pretty unremarkable for anyone other than the three men involved. Even when Walter Davidson and later William A. Davidson joined the original gang of two, the combined talents of these four men could not have foretold the future of what was to become one of the most iconic brands in the world. If they could, they surely would have partied long and hard.

Fast forward 115 years… Continuous production of Harley-Davidson motorcycles gives the Motor Company the perfect reason to its amazing achievement with bikers from across the globe. And as we’ve seen each major anniversary party, hosted every five years by Harley-Davidson, continues to get bigger and better.

Prague, Czechia (Czech Republic), was the chosen venue for Harley-Davidson’s 115th Anniversary (EU, 5-8th July). Why?

1) it’s accessible for many world-wide Harley lovers

2) Harley-Davidson Club Praha is Prague’s resident Harley club and at 90-years young – the oldest European Harley Club – has amassed a lot of party organisational skills from its own annual gatherings

3) it’s a beautiful city, the roads are good and the sun is virtually guaranteed.

Needless to say it was memorable. THE Rolling Stones helped kickstart proceedings by ditching their OAP tags for a full-on concert the night before Harley’s opening ceremony before Harley’s 115th Anniversary (EU) got underway with Bill and Karen Davidson cutting the metaphorical ribbon,.

Official figures state 67,000 motorcycles and 115,000 partygoers rocked up in Prague over the four-day event, with more following the event on TV and social media. The Muay Thai All Stars Boxing Championship was held in the middle of Harley’s central pitch and was televised to a global audience. Adding to the festival feel, the soundtrack to the event was provided by a variety of live music across several stages; The Hives took the main headline spot with their energetic performance and DJs had their own on-stage parties throughout the event.

115 years of Harley® heritage was represented with memorable classic Harleys on display alongside a wide range of previous competition-winning customised bikes, plus the Custom Bike Showdown in the Dark Custom Arena impressed thousands with unique one-off machines. Stunt shows, Biker Games and freestyle MX pulled huge crowds, while Jeep provided fun with an off-road demo course that made four-wheels seem a bit more interesting.

Two-wheels won the weekend though, and the much anticipated Harley-Davidson Parade saw 4,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycles impressively snaking their way through Prague’s historic and beautiful streets. Thousands of well-wishers and families lined the streets cheering the parade along and revelling in the trademark sound from the machines, demonstrating the power of this inspirational brand.

As events go, the 115th Harley-Davidson Anniversary (EU) was a head spinner. But, believe it or not, there’s another 115th Anniversary event lined up, this time in the heart of Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee hometown, from 29th August through to 2nd September. If there’s even a remote possibility of attending, grab it with both hands. Find out more here.