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Why Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary is a must-attend event

Harley riders and fans – start your engines for Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary! The unmissable ‘Homecoming’ festival in Milwaukee from July 13th-16th

As the famous Harley-Davidson quote goes, “Ride to meet life, don’t wait for it.” 

And all roads lead to Milwaukee this July 2023 for the much-anticipated Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary. The four-day festival features exclusive live performances and plenty of entertainment for all ages. Join fellow enthusiasts from all parts of the country riding to the homeplace of Harley-Davidson for this once-in-a-lifetime event.

There’s nothing like celebrating a special milestone. The Homecoming event is an opportunity to come together and reflect on the memories and joyful moments that Harley-Davidson has played a part in creating.

Hugh’s story

Hugh Walsh, 71, from Dublin, who owns a Harley-Davidson and has traveled around parts of the US, reflects on the first time he came across his Harley. 

“My love for motorcycles began back in my school years, when I had the bizarre idea to put a lawn mower engine on a push bike! But from then, I got hooked on the idea of a motorcycle, and the speed they can go. Rooting through books and magazines, the Harley-Davidson was always the motorcycle to have.

Old man on a Harley-Davidson at Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary

“I bought all types of Mickey-Mouse motorcycles throughout the years. Until eventually, around my late 20s, I had enough money to buy the motorcycle I wanted, which was the Harley-Davidson.”

Hugh came across a man in his workplace, and they happened to have a conversation about motorcycles. “The man asked if I knew anyone that would be interested in buying a motorcycle. Whee said it was a Harley-Davidson, I jumped at the chance to see it.

“I traveled to his house, and he led me to the back of his garage, where a motorcycle stood, shielded with a cover. He pulled off the cover, and as soon as I set eyes on the Harley-Davidson bike, I fell in love with it.”

The inspiration

Hugh says, at the time in the 1970s, there was a film released called Electric Glide, with a cop riding a motorcycle of the same name.

“Well, this motorcycle I was looking at was a carbon copy of the motorcycle in the film,” says Hugh. “But it was the Harley-Davidson Ultra Glide and it was blue. Riding it was like being in a house on the road. It was the most comfortable motorcycle I’ve ever been on.

“It was a very expensive investment back in the day, especially when I had a family. But when I came back home with the bike, I told them it was half the price I paid for it!” 

Hugh rode the bike every day for the next 10 years and never had any issues with it. He says his experience riding his Harley has been one of the greatest joys of his life.

It is memories like Hugh’s that show what an impact Harley-Davidson has made on the lives of many. And a reason for all to come together to celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary.

New releases

As part of the momentous occasion, Harley-Davidson has also released seven, limited-edition serialized motorcycle models. Featuring commemorative paint, finishes and premium features. These include the Ultra Limited Anniversary and the Tri Glide Anniversary models. Perfect for riding to the Homecoming!    

Homecoming is taking place across a number of venues in Milwaukee. Veterans Park is the heart of the festival and where the live music performances will be taking place. Green Day will headline the festival on Friday, July 14th, while Foo Fighters will headline on Saturday, July 15th.

Visit Harley-Davidson Museum at Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary

The Harley-Davidson Museum will serve as the central hub for free events, such as skills demonstrations and activities. And Harley-Davidson dealerships around Milwaukee, such as the House of Harley-Davidson and Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, will also host free events throughout the four days.

Plus, don’t miss the motorcycle parade through downtown Milwaukee on Sunday, July 16th to wrap up the celebrations!

“If you look back on a trip and it makes you smile; it was worth the while.” – Harley-Davidson. And this is sure to be an unforgettable event you’ll look back on and smile about.

Harley fans and those looking to attend can check out full details on events and ticketing information on the Homecoming webpage.

If you want to combine Harley-Davidson’s 120th anniversary with a great motorcycle tour, check out our Great Lakes Circle Anniversary Tour.