Thunder By The Bay 2018

February 15 - 18, 2018

Our Annual Sarasota Motorcycle Festival
Moves to February in 2018

Thunder by the Bay moves to February in 2018. Details and schedules are pending from event organizers, however the festival will include a new "Bikes on Main" Block Party on the evening of February 16 and the festival portion of the event will move to the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. More details to come.


In 2013 Thunder by the Bay became a 4 day festival and 2017 marks the 19th Anniversary of the popular Sarasota Motorcycle Festival and fund raiser for Suncoast Charities for Children.

Held annually in the downtown Sarasota area for the previous 18 years, in 2017 the event moves to nearby Lakewood Ranch with additional events in Gulf Gate Village east of Rt. 41 just south of Stickney Point Road at Gulf Gate Drive.

This event kick starts the Sun Coast’s New Year of festivals and fun.

A list of the 2017 Events Schedule is below.

The festival now attracts, it has been reported, upwards of 40,000 fun and friendly revelers to the 4 day celebration.

It's also a more well mannered and refined event than, say, the annual raucous bike week that Daytona hosts every year.

It's always a great way to begin the new year. And most years the festival takes place under sunny skies with near 80 degree temperatures. That makes it a fun outdoor event here on the Sarasota sun coast.

Looking back at past festivals: Some of the past celebrities who have helped to make the event more festive were nationally renowned bike builders Eddie Trotta, the Detroit Brothers, Kate O'Shea and Brad Ruel.

Thunder By the Bay Sarasota Motorcycle Festival

Plus there have been appearances by "The Romanator," featured on TV's A&E Network show, "Knievel's Wild Ride" and the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" Captains Jonathon Hillstrand and Keith Colburn.

Just goes to show that you never know who you'll see here!

It's also a great opportunity to mix and mingle.

sarasota motorcycle festival pitcure 2

Thunder By The Bay 2017 Event Schedule

Thursday January 5, 2017 will be the festival's Sporting Clay Tournament complete with lunch. You can register as a team or individually. Registration gets under way at 8:30 a.m., start time is 9:30 a.m. and the location is at Ancient Oak Gun Club, Lakewood Ranch. 2016 Registration registration was $500 per  team or $125 for an individual.

Friday, January 6, 2017: The “Welcome Thunder” Event features live music and a bike wash with free admission and parking. 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. at The Coral House, 8389 S. Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL. AND it's the “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party with complimentary food/bev tasting stations, a silent auction and Includes (2) Drink Tickets and live music with the Billy Rice Band. $100 per person. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m., Polo Grill and Bar, 10670 Boardwalk Loop-Lakewood Ranch, FL. More info and tickets here.

Saturday and Sunday, January 7 - 8, 2017: What was the downtown Sarasota Street Festival is now the "Rockin' & Ridin' at The Ranch" Festival with vendors, live music, demo displays, food court, craft beer/wine/spirits tastings. Saturday hours:10 a.m. - 10 p.m. It's free admission both days and in 2017 it moves to the Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL. (This is located east off of I-75 {exit 217} at Rt. 70, east past Lorraine Rd, to north on Post Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL)


On Sunday, It's the 18 Class Bike Show along with vendors, more live music, demo displays, food court, craft beer/wine/spirits tastings from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Limited VIP Tickets are available for the Festival on January 7 - 8.

“Taste of Thunder” Area both days - Featuring Craft Beer, Wine, & Spirits - $10 for 5 Tastings (1 p.m.– 4 p.m.).

The "Rockin' & Ridin' at The Ranch" Festival is a great opportunity to be outside and check out American and Import Class motorcycles, including: Vintage Harley-Davidson, Custom Metric “Touring and Cruiser” Classes, Vintage Class, Buell Class and many others.

The Thunder by the Bay Festival also includes on Saturday, January 7, 2017 a $1000 top prize "Cruise for Cash" Charity Ride that begins at the Sarasota Ford Dealership, 707 S. Washington Blvd. and winds up at ends at Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch. Registration from 9:30 a.m - 11:30 a.m. It's $10 Per Hand/3 for $20.

There's a full two day line up of live music performances starting Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 12:30 p.m.

The Saturday line up: 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio,  2:15 p.m. -  3:30 p.m. Diary Of An Ozzman (Ozzy Osbourne Tribute), 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Keep The Faith (Bon Jovi Tribute), 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. KISS America (KISS Tribute), 8:00 pm - 9:30 p.m. Def Leggend (Def Leppard Tribute).

Sunday, January 8, 2017 the live music schedule is: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. “Enjoy The Ride” Sugarland Tribute, 1:30 p.m. -  3:00 p.m. Bobby Friss and later featured headliners Blue Oyster Cult taking the stage at 4 p.m.

Also on Sunday, January 8, 2017 there's the "18 Class" Bike Show. You can register your bike from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. for $20 an entry. 1st and 2nd place trophy winners in each class and Best of Show Trophy winner will be announced at 4 p.m. Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL.

There are additional events going on connected with this year's Sarasota Thunder by the Bay Motorcycle Festival. Click here for more on the event and schedules.

Contact number: Volunteer Hot Line: (941) 487-7904 x103 or (941) 487-7904.

Sarasota Motorcycle Festival
Sarasota Thunder By The Bay Fest
Sarasota Motorcycle Festival Thunder By The Bay
Sarasota's Thunder by The Bay Motorcycle festival

Plus there are food and drink vendors, bike builders and custom painters, clothes vendors and all kinds of motorcycle and biker-lifestyle related gear and clothes, plus live entertainment on several bandstands featuring a variety of music styles from rock, to country to..well, you get the idea.





Whether you are a “biker” or just a fan, it’s a fun time to walk around and “owww” and “ahhh” at the bikes on display.



This Festival in recent years has earned and donated over $190,000 and over its years has donated well over $725,000 to needy children and their families through Suncoast Charities for Children.





The 2008 Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle festival
The street party at Thunder by The Bay Sarasota Florida
Thunder by the Bay in downtown Sarasota
Sarasota Motorcycle Festival Thunder by the Bay

That's a long way from the first Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle festival in 1998 when there were only 100 riders and they only raised $100.

The festival has grown over the years into a now large group of good and big hearted bikers who bring “Thunder” to Sarasota and its surrounding areas to kick-start each New Year.

Downtown Sarasota at the Thunder By the Bay Festival
Sarasota Thunder By the Bay Fest

Get more information about the 2017 Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle Festival, which will be January 5 - 8 by calling the festival Volunteer Hot Line: (941) 487-7904 x103 or(941) 487-7904 or by clicking here: 2017 Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle Festival

The Sarasota Motorcycle festival in downtown Sarasota Florida

We hope to see you at the next Thunder by the Bay, here in sunny Sarasota, Florida!







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