Daytona Bike Week is the second largest motorcycle rally in the United States, held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. For ten days each spring (around the first week of March), Daytona Beach becomes a mecca for bikers, especially Harley-Davidson riders. The events include concerts, street festivals, contests, parties, and motorcycle racing. Approximate attendance of the rally is 500,000. Official sponsor and supporter of Daytona Bike Week is Daytona Beach Chamber of Commerce.
History of Daytona Bike Week Rally
Daytona Bike Week evolved from a single racing event that is now known as Daytona 200. The first Daytona 200 took place January 24, 1937. Motorcyclists raced on a 3.2-mile road that was partly a beach, located south of Daytona Beach.
In 1942, Daytona 200 was canceled by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) because of World War II. At that time, tires, gasoline, and parts were rationed by the U.S. government. Motorcycle enthusiasts still showed up to party.
The Daytona race reopened on February 24, 1947. The event was a big success with a record number of riders and a great number of visitors. Hotels were filled to capacity and city officials asked locals to offer lodging to visitors. In 1961, Daytona 200 race was moved to the famous Daytona International Speedway race track.
Images courtesy of Gamweb on Wikimedia Commons.