LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Anyone that loves the feeling of the wind in their face as they cruise down the open highway, or anyone that just loves motorcycles, won't want to miss the 2019 Lake of the Ozarks BikeFest, September 11-15.
As the largest bike rally in the Midwest, BikeFest draws around 125,000 motorcyclists on 90,000 motorcycles to Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks to enjoy five days of scenic rides, vendor villages, live music, a Harley Davidson giveaway and a wide selection of food and drink specials.
"It's incredible the amount of growth we've seen with BikeFest," said Tim Jacobsen, executive director for the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau. "This is the thirteenth year for the festival and when you consider that just five years ago we had only around 50,000 motorcycles and this year we're expecting over 90,000, it's amazing. It's a testament to the Lake of the Ozarks area, really. I hear time and time again how pretty the area is, how much fun it is to ride our rolling hills and winding roads and how friendly and welcoming everyone is. I also think a lot of people have been surprised by how much there is to do around the Lake area, on and off of your motorcycle. So, all of these things combined have made BikeFest a can't-miss event for motorcycle enthusiasts."
Throughout the festival, there will be three large vendor villages set up at three locations around the Lake of the Ozarks where attendees can check out a wide array of motorcycles and moto gear, like custom-built bikes, boots, leathers, riding apparel and souvenirs. The villages will be located at the Horny Toad Entertainment Complex at Camden on the Lake Resort in Lake Ozark, at Luby's Plaza on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark and at the Lake of the Ozarks Harley Davidson dealership in Osage Beach.
One of the most popular aspects of BikeFest is the annual Passport Ride. Participants that complete the Passport Ride will be entered into a drawing for a new 2018 Harley Davidson Softail Fat Bob motorcycle. To qualify, one must visit each of the 24 Passport locations comprised primarily of restaurants and other businesses around the Lake area to receive a Passport stamp. This is a great way to not only potentially win a new motorcycle but to explore and experience many of the different Lake of the Ozarks communities. For complete Passport rules, map and list of participating Passport stops and their hours of operation, visit www.LakeBikeFest.com.
Along with the Passport Ride, there are three other suggested BikeFest ride routes that offer their own unique vantage points throughout the winding Ozark hills. The 96-mile ride around the the Lake of the Ozarks takes riders through more than 10 different Lake-area communities as it completes a large loop around the serpentine Lake of the Ozarks. The Lake-area ride takes a little over two hours and shows off a number of beautiful vistas around the Lake. There's also an 84-mile ride showcasing Camdenton's Ha Ha Tonka State Park, which was named as the most beautiful place in Missouri by Cande Nast Traveler, and Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon - two of Missouri's most popular state parks. This ride takes less than two hours. The longest ride is 115 miles and traverses parts of historic Route 66 and includes a stop at the historic community of Devil's Elbow near the Big Piney River. This ride takes approximately three hours. While these rides are suggested, there's no shortage of options or roads to explore throughout Missouri's rugged and beautiful Ozarks.
Another BikeFest highlight is all the live music. While many of the Lake of the Ozarks area restaurants and bars feature live music performed by some of the regions most talented musicians, there are some high-profile shows taking place as well. On Friday, Sept. 13, '80s hair metal band Great White plays at The Lodge at Port Arrowhead in Lake Ozark; platinum-selling heavy metal band Jackyl takes the stage at Shady Gators Bar and Grill in Lake Ozark; country music star Tyler Farr plays at Shawnee Bluff Vineyard in Eldon; Christiana brings their soulful country-rock sounds to Backwater Jack's in Osage Beach and Super Jam covers many party favorites at the Horny Toad Entertainment Complex in Lake Ozark. Saturday evening brings the southern rock sounds of Whiskey Meyers to the Shady Gators stage and BikeFest favorites Hells/Bells, a celebrated AC/DC tribute band, plays at the Horny Toad.
For complete details on BikeFest 2019, including a schedule of events, printable ride maps, details on the Passport ride, and information on lodging, visit www.LakeBikeFest.com.