In 2019 Thunder by the Bay became the Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival.
It's a 3 day festival and 2023 marks the 25th Anniversary of the popular Sarasota Motorcycle Festival and fund raiser for Suncoast Charities for Children.
Escape-to-Sarasota.com is a proud sponsor, benefitting Suncoast Charities for Children!
History: Held annually in the downtown Sarasota
area for 18 years, in 2017 the event moved to nearby Lakewood Ranch and in 2018 it returned in part to downtown Sarasota for the Block Party and in 2019 it moved completely to the Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Boulevard, for the three day festival with a first time ever gate admission of $5, 12 & under were free, at that time.
A list of the 2023 Events Schedule is below including a link to the live music rundown.
The festival now attracts, it has been reported, upwards of 40,000 fun and friendly revelers to the 3 day celebration.
It's also a more well mannered and refined event than, say, the annual raucous bike week that Daytona hosts every 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.
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.
February 3, 2023: The festival's Sporting Clay Tournament. Registration Includes Continental breakfast and Post Event BBQ Lunch. Tournament Shirt. Registration: 9 a.m. Tournament starts at 10:30 a.m. $125 per person, $500 per team. Knights Trail Park, 3445 Rustic Road, Nokomis, FL.
February 17, 2023 : It's the Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival Featuring over 100 vendor displays, Food Court, Vintage Displays, Tented seating area with a full bar, motorcycle freestyle show and more. 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Continuous live music. Bring your lawn chairs. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. Gate admission of $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. 12 & under are free.
February 17, 2023: The “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds outside between 6-10 p.m. underneath the VIP tent. Live music from Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio and Nuthin' Fancy .Open bar, food stations, silent auction, 50/50 raffle. Discounted “Early Bird” Tickets Are Available Until February 10, 2023 for $125 Per Person. After February 10, ticket increase to $150 Per Person. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL
February 17 - 19, 2023: This year’s live entertainment lineup at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds venue includes a variety of genres to include blues, rock, and country. The 2023 Festival Headliners are 38 Special, Saturday night 8 p.m. and Colt Ford Sunday at 3 p.m. .
February 18 - 19, 2023: It's the Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival. Saturday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sunday Noon - 5 p.m. Featuring over 100 vendor displays, Food Court, Demo Displays, Continuous live music and more.. Bring your lawn chairs. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. Saturday Gate admission of $10 in advance, $15 at the gate, 12 & under are free.
February 19, 2023: The "United We Ride - America Strong" Charity Ride to honor veterans, first responders, and active-duty military. Registration is 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. $20 per rider, $10 per passenger. Ride starts at 11:45 a.m. Riders are encouraged to show their patriotism by displaying a flag on their motorcycle. Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. Rossiter's Harley- Davidson, 330 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL.
February 19, 2023: The 17 Class Bike Show, over $5,000 in cash prizes and trophies awarded. 12 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration $20 per bike + gate fee / Trophies at 4 p.m. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL.
Contact number: Volunteer Hot Line: (941) 487-7904.
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 “oowww” 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.
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.
Get more information about the Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle Festival by calling the festival Volunteer Hot Line: (941) 487-7904 or by clicking here: Thunder By The Bay Sarasota Motorcycle Festival
We hope to see you at the next Thunder by the Bay, here in sunny Sarasota, Florida!