The Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce serves as an advocate for the business community of Sanford and the Seminole, Orange and west Volusia County areas. With the help from the city, downtown merchants and neighboring county businesses, Bikefest 2009 was an overall success resulting in a vast economic impact throughout the city and county.
Bikefest is designed to gather as many motorcycle enthusiasts and spectators into our community as possible, both local and out of state, by offering a venue with a beautiful view overlooking the waterfront of Lake Monroe and the marina.
This influx of visitors will result in tourism dollars being spent in all associated businesses in the downtown and surrounding areas, including hotels, restaurants, bars and retail shops.
Thunder in the Streets has evolved into a three-day event and is strategically positioned to be held the weekend before the Daytona Beach Biketoberfest, capturing a large percentage of out-of-towners that extend their stay to take in both events and benefit from the great fall riding weather during the week.
Vendors in attendance provide a wide range of food and drink as well as various merchandise and services, such as apparel, jewelry and event memorabilia. Incredible entertainment and staging will be set up in Fort Mellon Park as the central focal point of the event, with the kickoff at 11 a.m. Oct. 8.
Spectators will be entertained by live bands, beauty contests and a doughnut-eating eating contests. Friday night will feature the band the Outlaws. Following in the footsteps of such great bands as the Allman Brothers and the Eagles, the Outlaws developed their own high-powered, guitar-driven country-rock, complete with exciting self-penned music and stellar three-part harmony. Today, the Outlaws are at the threshold of a new era. Along with original singer/songwriter/guitarist Henry Paul and original drummer/songwriter Monte Yoho, the Outlaws feature Chris Anderson, Billy Crain, Randy Threet, and Jon Coleman.
For the country enthusiasts, that Saturday night will feature Mark Wills. Wills has numerous hits under his belt, "Jacob's Ladder," "Don't Laugh At Me," "I Do (Cherish You)" and his seven-week No. 1 smash, "19 Something," to name just a few.
In addition, he has sold millions of albums. His new record deal on Tenacity Records features his latest album, “Familiar Stranger,” and is currently in stores. Also on stage that Saturday evening, Sanford’s own Jim Van Fleet & The Reign will be performing.
That Sunday, families will enjoy live entertainment featuring performer Pat Travers. The Pat Travers Band continues to tour around the world, "Makin’ Magic" for their diehard fans. Travers is currently working, recording and touring with Eric "Freight-train" Frates (drums) and Rick Navarro (bass). Frates and Navarro are longtime friends, and it shows in what they bring to the stage night after night. They provide a nice, tight rockin’ platform.
The onstage entertainment is free, however, a low-cost priority VIP reserved area will be available for those who want to be close to the staging area. For more information on priority seating, please call the chamber at 407-322-2212.
Fans will watch bike demonstrations that will engage various riding skills through stunt shows; the popular motorcycle ball of death and bike shows featuring Metric, Harley, Custom and Sport.
If you would like to have a good time, good food and drink, don’t miss out on this great event. It is fun for the whole family. Hope to see you there, Oct. 8-10.
For more information on Bikefest and the festivities, visit the chamber’s website www.sanfordbikefest.com or call 407-322-2212.
Pam Czopp is the executive director of the Greater Sanford Regional Chamber of Commerce and a regular contributor to The Bottom Line column in The Sanford Herald. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.