Thunder By The Bay Music
& Motorcycle Festival

February 16 - 18, 2024

In 2019 Thunder by the Bay became the Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival.

It's a 3 day festival and 2024 marks the 26th Anniversary of the popular Sarasota Motorcycle Festival and fund raiser for Suncoast Charities for Children, and for the first time will feature three headliners: Molly Hatchet (February 16 at 8 p.m.), Grand Funk Railroad (February 17 at 8 p.m.), and Creed Fisher (February 18 at 3 p.m.) 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 2024 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.

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 2024 Event Schedule

February 2, 2024: 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.  $600 per team of 4. Knights Trail Park, 3445 Rustic Road, Nokomis, FL.

February 2, 2024: “Taste Of Thunder” Tasting ExperienceGuests will enjoy a signature craft beer sampling from over 10 local breweries that will be showcasing their best sellers. Your tasting passport will also include light bites and a full cash bar will be available. Anyone who purchases their ticket by January 28, 2024 will receive a keepsake Thunder By The Bay tasting cup. A special athlete “Cornhole Challenge” will also be a part of this enjoyable and fun evening. *Must Be 21 years of age or older. $30-#5. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Sarasota Event Center, 600 N. Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL

February 7, 2024: “Whiskey Wind Down” Tasting EventEnjoy a private and intimate signature whiskey tasting experience at Cask & Ale! Your special guest host for the evening will be Steve Walleser, a 40+ year spirit industry veteran. Your ticket purchase includes: (4) Whiskey Tastings, Paired Food, A Keepsake Thunder By The Bay Etched Tasting Glass. $125 - $150. 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Cask & Ale, 1548 Main St.,.Sarasota, FL.

February 16, 2024: 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 KJB and Molly Hatchet. Open bar, great food, silent auction, 50/50 raffle. Discounted “Early Bird” Tickets Are Available Until February 11, 2024 for $125 Per Person. After February 11, ticket increase to $200 Per Person. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sarasota Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd, Sarasota, FL

February 16 - 18, 2024 : 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.  Continuous live music. Bring your lawn chairs. Friday: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.  Sunday: noon - 5 p.m. Sarasota County Fairgrounds, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL. Gate admission of $10 in advance, $15 at the gate. 12 & under are free.

February 16 - 18, 2024: This year’s live entertainment lineup at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds includes 3 headliners for the first time ever: Molly Hatchet Friday night at 8 p.m., Grand Funk Railroad Saturday night at 8 p.m. and Creed Fisher Sunday at 3 p.m. All Bands, Including Daily Headliners, Are Included With General Admission Tickets.

February 18, 2024: The "Ride so Children Can Thrive Charity Ride. Free pancake breakfast. Free Admission Into The Festival On Sunday With Preferred Parking. Registration is 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. $20 per person. Ride starts at 11:15 a.m. Adrenaline Harley-Davidson, 330 Cattlemen Rd, Sarasota, FL

 Click here for more on the events.

Contact number: Volunteer Hot Line: (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

Here's a short video about the Sarasota Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival: 

(Speakers on!)

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.

In 2023 the festival generated a net revenue of $315,000.00 for Suncoast Charities for Children. Some of the funding allocations from this net revenue included: New classroom furniture and assistance packages for preschool children attending Children First, new occupational/speech therapy testing materials and sensory tools for The Florida Center for Early Childhood, seed money to start the first-ever Summer Camp Shriver in Sarasota for Special Olympics athletes, funding a summer camp for the blind and the purchase of new safety helmets and uniforms for Venice Challenger Baseball, and the construction of a new outdoor therapeutic area at Loveland Center. A $50,000 grant was also made to the Suncoast Foundation to assist with maintenance and necessary capital expenditures needed at these agencies.

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 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

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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