Hogs will invade the Pensacola Bay Area this Halloween but there's no reason to be afraid: These Harley riders are welcomed guests.
The 2017 Southeast H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally hits Pensacola Beach Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, and locals are getting revved up to welcome more than 1,200 Harley Davidson enthusiasts who will be riding in from 23 states, and some even coming from other countries.
The high-octane events are centered around the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, 12 Via de Luna, Pensacola Beach, and include a number of activities that will be open to the public, as well as guided rides and other events for rally-goers taking place throughout the community.
“We are so fortunate to have been selected as the host site for the Southeast H.O.G. Rally 2017,” Steve Hayes, president of Visit Pensacola, said in a statement. “This five-day event is a great boost to our shoulder season visitation and gives these Harley riders an opportunity to experience the beauty, history and hospitality of the Pensacola Bay Area. Most of all, we want rally participants to have a safe, enjoyable visit.”
To that end, locals are encouraged to practice increased awareness of motorcycle riders during the rally. While watching out for bikers is always smart when hitting the road, public awareness programs during the rally will encourage everyone to “Look Twice for Motorcycles.”
Just in case the roar of the engines isn’t enough to spark your memory, efforts will include billboards, radio public service announcements, a social media campaign and a special safety message painted on Pensacola’s famed “Graffiti Bridge,” the 17th Avenue train trestle near downtown Pensacola.
“We see this not only as an opportunity to welcome the 2017 H.O.G. Rally, but also a great platform to remind the public of the importance of motorcycle awareness and sharing the road,” Nicole Stacey, director of marketing and communications of Visit Pensacola, said in a statement.
Rally-goers will burn rubber through five days of activities including daily guided and self-guided rides, a poker run, demonstrations, contests and evening activities including fireworks. The event culminates with a Harley parade through the streets of Pensacola.
Most events are strictly for H.O.G. members and require advance registration at members.hog.com. However, a few events are open to the public. They include:
• A Harley Davidson Demonstration Trailer at Haley Davidson of Pensacola, 6385 Pensacola Blvd., will offer opportunities to test-ride 2018 Harley models from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1-4.
• The Adam Holbrook Thrill Show will present public performances at Pensacola Beach’s Casino Beach at 3 and 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and at 1 p.m. Nov. 4.
• HOGs vs. PIGs takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4 at Harley Davidson of Pensacola and pits civilian riders from the H.O.G. against top motorcycle police across a challenging cone course.
• The finale parade will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 4 at Harley Davidson of Pensacola and make its way to Casino Beach.
The Pensacola event marks the first regional event for the Harley Owners Group in more than 15 years. When the event was announced, H.O.G. Regional Manager for Harley-Davidson Inc. Thor Robinson told the Pensacola News Journal that the area will provide “great riding and great events” for the group’s members.
“Pensacola really wanted us, and the riding around this area is just awesome,” Robinson told the News Journal. “There’s so much to do in the area that we thought it was a win."