The Ray Price Capital City Bikefest returns to downtown Raleigh starting Friday, a three-day event expected to draw more than 100,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country.
The 11th annual Bikefest will turn Fayetteville Street into a roaring strip of two-wheeled power, combining rare cycles with side attractions that range from a tattoo show to a pin-up-style fashion contest.
Here’s a rundown on what visitors can expect from the free event, which benefits the USO North Carolina and U.S. Veterans Corps:
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Bikefest opens downtown at noon Friday, and a parade of bikers will leave Ray Price Harley Davidson/Triumph for Fayetteville Street at 5:30 p.m. Events continuing through Sunday afternoon include a gathering of thousands of riders and various stunt performances. One of them, Juli Moody, is known as “The Female Human Link,” because of her ability to restrain two revving motorcycles at once using only her hands. Live music plays throughout most of Bikefest, including performances by the psychobilly trio Koffin Kats and Mostley Crue, a Motley Crue tribute band.
“We love bringing thousands of new faces into downtown Raleigh to appreciate cool art on two wheels,” said Mark Hendrix, general manager of Ray Price Harley-Davidson and Ray Price Triumph. “Capital City Bikefest is unique because Raleigh hosts one of the country’s only downtown street festivals for bikers.”
For the second year, Ray Price Motorsports Expo will take fans inside the Raleigh Convention Center for one of the Southeast’s largest custom bike shows. Well-known builders nationwide will compete for best craftsmanship, including Butcher Chop, Green Devil Garage, Widowmaker Custom Design & Repair and Crazy Beavers Customs. Visitors can also see the tattoo show, a high-wire act and the Globe of Death, a large metal ball which bikes get inside and circle “like hamsters,” Hendrix said.
Parking and Traffic
Expect street closures and delays on and around Fayetteville Street. More than 125,000 people attended last year’s event. Downtown portions of Fayetteville, Hargett, Martin, Davie streets will be posted “No Parking – Motorcycles Only” starting at 6 p.m. Thursday and continuing through early Sunday morning. Other streets will be affected throughout the weekend. For more information, see capitalcitybikefest.com.