Thunder By The Bay | Born To Ride Motorcycle Magazine – Motorcycle TV, Radio, Events and News

Thunder By The Bay

Published on February 15, 2018
Thunder By The Bay
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Date(s) - 02/15/2018 - 02/18/2018
All Day

Sarasota County Fairgrounds


20th Annual Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival

The 20th Annual Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival features a “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party, “Bikes on Main” Block Party, two motorcycle charity rides, three bike shows, and a two day Festival at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds. This year’s Festival is free to the public and offers plenty of vendors, live music, great food, a biker rodeo, fireworks, a “Miss Thunder By The Bay” contest, and stunt shows. All proceeds benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. Venue locations and prices vary. For Festival details visit or call (941) 487-7904 Ext. 3


Thunder By The Bay is produced by Suncoast Charities for Children, a local non-profit agency serving children, teens, and adults with special needs and their families. Over the past 19 years, the Festival has raised $1.7 Million for charity.

Thanks to the net proceeds raised from Thunder By The Bay, Suncoast Charities for Children provides an annual grant to the Suncoast Foundation impacting these five local non-profit agencies serving over 8,000 special needs clients each year.

What began as a one day charity motorcycle ride has now grown into a four day Festival. The average attendance over the four days averages 50,000 with an economic impact measuring in at $8.8 Million and 8,400 room nights. Throughout the years, this annual Festival has won numerous awards as “The Best Local Fundraising Event”, “Best Festival”, and is considered one of the top 50 motorcycle events in the United States.



Your ticket includes admission into the VIP Tent with comfortable seating offering a great view of the stage, complimentary food (time varies each day) and a cash bar. Private restrooms will also be available.



thunderLive Entertainment Schedule
Sporting Clay Tournament
Knight’s Trail Range
Reg. 11:30 am – Start 1:00 pm
$500 Team / $125 Per Person
Beer and BBQ following the Tournament

“Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party
Michaels On East Ballroom
6:00 pm until 10:00 pm / $150 PP
Open Bar/Food Stations/Silent Auction
50/50 Raffle – Thunder Saloon Theme
Dress – Biker Casual and Biker Chic

“Bikes On Main” Block Party
Main Street in Downtown Sarasota
7:00 pm until Midnight – Free Admission

Live Music
Twinkle & Rock Soul Radio – 7:30 pm until 9:00 pm
The Billy Rice Band – 9:30 pm until 11:00 pm

“Light Up The Night” Bike Show
Main Street in Downtown Sarasota
7:00 pm until 9:00 pm – $20 Per Bike
Trophies at 9:30 pm

Car & Motorcycle “Ride for Riches”
Rossiter’s & Manatee River Harley-Davidson
9:30 am until 2:00 pm
$5 “Ride for Riches” Entry Per Person
Cash Prizes Awarded To Winners!!
Free Gift (While Supplies Last)
Live Music – Food

Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival
Sarasota County Fairgrounds
10:00 am until 10:00 pm – Free Admission
Enjoy the“Thunder Tap Room”
(Featuring Craft Beer, Cigars, Cornhole & Jenga)
Food – Tented Seating Area – Lots of Vendors
Stunt Rider Shows – Biker Rodeo

“Old Iron” Bike Show
Registration $20 / 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Trophies at 4:00 pm

Live Music
National Anthem & Bike Blessing – 11:45 am
The Boss Hawg Band – Noon until 1:30 pm
Tobacco Rd. Band – 2:00 pm until 3:30 pm
China Grove– 4:00 pm until 5:30 pm
(Doobie Brothers Tribute)
Diary of an Ozzman– 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm
(Ozzy Osbourne Tribute)
Tim McGraw Tribute!
8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Finz Finds “Cruise for Cash” Charity Ride
Registration 9:30 am until 11:30 am – Sarasota Ford
$20 Per Rider – $4,000 in Cash Prizes

Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival
Sarasota County Fairgrounds
10:00 am until 6:00 pm – Free Admission
Enjoy the “Thunder Tap Room”
(Featuring Craft Beer, Cigars, Cornhole & Jenga)
Food – Tented Seating – Lots of Vendors
Stunt Rider Shows

18 Class Bike Show
Registration $20 / 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Trophies at 4:00 pm

“Miss Thunder By The Bay” Contest
Preliminaries 2:45 pm
Finals at 5:15 pm
Top 5 contestants receive cash prizes!!

Live Music
National Anthem & Bike Blessing – 11:00 am
Soul Circus Cowboys – 11:15 am til 12:15 pm
Alter Eagles– 12:45 pm til 2:15 pm
(Eagles Tribute)
The Bobby Friss Band
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm



Suncoast Charities for Children has finalized a new date and location for this year’s 20th Annual Thunder By The Bay Motorcycle Festival. The four-day Festival will take place February 15-18, 2018 to include a new “Bikes On Main” Block Party in Downtown Sarasota on Friday evening, February 16. The Festival portion of the event will take place at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds and admission will remain free to the public.

Suncoast Charities for Children Board Member and local attorney, Greg Linehan, along with long-time Festival Sponsor and owner of Rossiter’s & Mantee River Harley-Davidson, Rick Rossiter, will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs. A full event schedule, featuring some exciting changes in celebration of the Festival’s 20th Anniversary, are underway and will be announced soon.

Festival organizers indicated that what began as a charity motorcycle ride, held immediately in early January right after the holidays, worked great for many years. However, the growing uncertainty surrounding weather in early January, coupled with busy schedules and financial expenditures that typically occur during December, has presented a challenge over the past few years to its vendors, sponsors, and attendees. Being a key fundraising event for Suncoast Charities for Children, this ultimately effects the bottom line back to the charity. “The Sarasota County Fairgrounds offers plenty of room for both indoor and outdoor activities and parking, RV and dry camping, and is centrally located to area hotels and attractions. They have been a wonderful community partner hosting our Festival in the past, and we look forward to working with them in celebration of our 20th Anniversary,” says Festival Director Lucy Nicandri.

“I am pleased that we could reach an agreement with Suncoast Charities for Children in support of this great event and the good work they do here in the community. The Fairgrounds has undergone recent renovations. Hosting events the size of Thunder By The Bay further emphasizes our capability to hold large events in a comfortable indoor and outdoor setting. Hopefully, this year’s new location will afford this event a permanent home,” indicated Sarasota Agricultural Fairgrounds President, Rory Martin.

Thunder By The Bay attracts a broad demographic of attendees and participants, whether they are into motorcycling or not. Both Vice Mayor Liz Alpert and City Commissioner Hagen Brody publicly commented about bringing Thunder By The Bay back to Sarasota during a July 10th City Commission Meeting.

“It is an event where friends and families can come out and enjoy each other’s company, while stimulating our local economy. I plan to work closely with Festival organizers to ensure its compatibility and future success in its return home to the City of Sarasota.” said City Commissioner Hagen Brody.

“I plan to work closely with Festival organizers to reach out to the younger population living here in the City to become involved. It was disappointing to see the Festival leave for a year, knowing that many downtown businesses and residents enjoy this event,” said Vice Mayor Liz Alpert.

Thunder By The Bay was last held in the City of Sarasota in 2016 generating an estimated impact of $8.8 Million and 8,400 room nights. In 2017 The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch hosted the Festival. Since then, SMR has offered to sell the Premier Sports Campus to Manatee County Government. “Suncoast Charities for Children is extremely grateful to SMR who graciously hosted the Festival with only four months to plan last year. They were awesome hosts, however, the opportunity to use both an inside and outside venue along with onsite camping played a major factor on our final decision for this year”, indicated Nicandri. For sponsorship, volunteer opportunities, or general information about 2018 Festival be sure to visit: