PANAMA CITY BEACH — Motorcyclists are roaring back to Panama City Beach this week for one of the biggest rallies in the Southeast.
The 22nd annual Thunder Beach Autumn Motorcycle Rally boasts a biker-friendly rally with fun, entertainment and a concert series from Wednesday through Sunday with the main event at Frank Brown Park, 16200 Panama City Beach Parkway.
Other venues joining the event are PCB Harley-Davidson, 14700 Panama City Beach Parkway; Hammerhead Freds, 8752 Thomas Drive; Sharky’s Beachfront Restaurant, 15201 Front Beach Road; and The Strip, 12000 Front Beach Road.
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Chase Micheal, primary shareholder and president of Thunder Beach Productions, said the event is continuing its the recent addition of a concert series for the rally.
“We had pretty good success by adding the concert series,” Micheal said, noting the first concert series debuted during the spring rally. “This adds an element of entertainment to the people who are already coming here and hopefully encourages people to stay in town longer to enjoy what the area has to offer.”
What to expect at the autumn rally
Thunder Beach is known as the country’s most biker-friendly free rally and welcomes more than 60,000 bikers to Panama City Beach each year.
The biannual event features a lineup of entertainment scheduled all day at various venues throughout the long weekend. That includes more than 200 vendors and exhibitors, a bike parade, beauty pageants, poker runs, tattoo contests, bike shows with category judging and a newly added motorcycle stunt show with TwinStunts of Wisconsin.
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The rally kicks off with a free concert at 6 p.m. Wednesday, featuring Colt Ford and Jasmine Cain at Frank Brown Park. The concert series continues Thursday through Saturday with performances at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night on the main stage at Frank Brown Park.
Artists headlining shows include 3 Doors Down and Bret Michaels on Thursday; Dierks Bently and Blackberry Smoke on Friday; and Shinedown and Jared James Nichols on Saturday.
Event expected to draw 70,000 to 100,000 attendees
With the success of last year’s event, Micheal said he anticipates the autumn rally will draw 70,000 to 100,000 attendees this week.
“We’ve had well over 100,000 attendees at the spring rally, and adding the concert series was a really big hit for the event,” Micheal said. “We’re expecting crowds close to that number for the fall rally.”
While entry to the motorcycle rally is free to all ages, the concert series comes at a cost.
Ticket prices start at $50 for single-day general admission and $99 for three-day passes. VIP packages range from $395 for one day to $625 for three days.
All tickets are available to purchase on the Thunder Beach website at thunderbeach.frontgatetickets.com. Gates open at 5 p.m. each day. Free motorcycle-only parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis until 11 p.m. each night, with no overnight parking allowed.
Micheal said there are plans to continue growing Thunder Beach in the future to boast more entertainment aspects for attendees each year.
“As we continue to grow, we’re appealing to more bikers and visitors for each rally,” Micheal said. “It’s all about creating a buzz and a reason for people to visit not just for the event but for Panama City Beach as well.”
For the full Thunder Beach autumn rally schedule, visit thunderbeachproductions.com.