By Scott Johnston
For the GH Newspaper Group
The traditional late July motorcycle event on the North Coast has been reinvented for this weekend as “Hog Wild Ocean Shores” brings thousands of bikers, enthusiasts and all-around fun-seekers to the Ocean Shores Convention Center and the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino Friday through Sunday, July 26-28.
The event is being produced for the first time by the Ocean Shores Convention Center, with a big promotional assist from QBRC. Both are presenting sponsors along with Northwest Harley Davidson of Olympia.
Quinault CEO Don Kajans has said he believes it is possible to someday grow Hog Wild into a countywide, week-long celebration that would bring 20-30,000 bikes to the coast for the biggest annual motorcycle event in the Pacific Northwest.
This weekend already involves much of Grays Harbor with a Saturday morning motorcycle parade that starts at 9 a.m. in Hoquiam, travels the curves and hills of Highway 109 west to Hogan’s Corner, then goes down to Oyhut Bay and back up to the Convention Center in Ocean Shores. A poker run from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday encompasses points in Ocean Shores, Copalis Beach, Pacific Beach and Westport, with bikers finishing at their choice of the Casino or the Convention Center.
Although the event obviously carries a very strong motorcycle theme, it attempts to offer broad appeal.
There will be 100 vendors at the Convention Center, with 15 at QBRC. In addition to a wide variety of biker merchandise, they offer an eclectic array that includes wood creations, Indian and African art, jewelry, henna tattoos, body & bath products and several local non-profit groups.
Six food and beverage vendors and a beer garden will be present, and Convention Center manager Diane Solem, noting occasional Facebook posts from folks who would like to see food trucks in Ocean Shores, said she hopes locals will attend the event and check out those vendors in particular.
There also will be a family friendly Kid Zone at at the Convention Center with a bounce house, mechanical shark and face painting.
Music is a big part of the event Friday and Saturday with DJ Abel at the Convention Center 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. both days and Stefan Roland & Working Class Heroes playing live Friday and Dusty Mojo performing Saturday, both 1-4 p.m., sponsored by motorcycle law firm Law Tigers. At QBRC, Motown Cowboys play in the Ocean Lounge 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The live music headliners Saturday at QBRC are tribute bands Petty Fever at 7 p.m. and Zepparella a female Led Zeppelin band, at 9 p.m., both outdoors.
Of course, many whose two-wheeling fun has never gone beyond bicycling still enjoy the chrome and cool, creative customizations that are the pride of the enthusiasts who participate in the event. Saturday at the Convention Center offers a bike show and biker games with awards, and a triple treat of popular, returning motorcycle stunt teams.
The legendary Seattle Cossacks will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Founded in 1938, they perform on vintage Harleys from the 1930s and ‘40s and their current team boasts one member of 46 years and four others with more than 30 years each.
Back again this year, at 12 and 4 p.m., is the Harley V-Twin show, 1-Wheel Revolution, which has been performing across the country since 2009. At 3 p.m. the all-volunteer, non-profit Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team will get their motors running.
In addition to their live music and vendors, QBRC is hosting several bike themed buffets over the weekend, and on Sunday two motorcycles will be given away. A 2018 Indian Dark Horse valued at $18,500 is being raffled for charity and the winner, who does not need to be present to win, will be drawn at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., the casino will conclude its Road to Hog Wild promotion that has been running since June, by drawing the winner (who must be present to win) of a 2019 Harley-Davidson Road Glide motorcycle.
The City of Ocean Shores and its Convention Center became the event’s promoter when the previous promoter cancelled at the end of April, just 90 days out. QBRC immediately joined the effort to maintain the traditional mid-summer attraction, and several local businesses quickly stepped up by agreeing to sponsorship support at various levels. That total ultimately reached 26 sponsors.
More information is available online at www.hogwildoceanshores.com, www.hogwildqbrc.com and at the Hog Wild in Ocean Shores Facebook page.