Leesburg prepares for thousands to arrive ahead of annual Bikefest

Businesses hope event brings a boost in sales

Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts are set the descend to on the town square area of Leesburg.

LEESBURG, Fla. – Business owners and city officials are gearing up for Leesburg’s annual Bikefest.

The Leesburg Partnership said while the city of Leesburg just hosted a Bikefest back in November, the event set for this weekend will put the area back on track on hosting the annual event at its proper time and potentially boost sales.

Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts are set the descend to on the town square area of Leesburg.

The festival is on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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Leesburg Partnership, which organizes the event every year, said this is the first time they are only hosting one full day of activities.

“November we did a three-day event, it was the one we were supposed to do in 2020… so to do another three-day event in four months, it’s not just because it’s the same fiscal year. It’s very expensive,” Joanie Smalley, executive director of Leesburg Partnership, said

To make up for the lack of days, the city and its businesses will be hosting other activities for the remainder of the weekend, according to Smalley.

Michael Huey is the co-owner of Two Old Hags, a family-owned wine and beer shop at the heart of the town square of Leesburg. He said with Bikefest getting back to its normal time in April he can expect sales to jump.

“A lot of people rely on this, especially during the slower summer months. We are seasonal here in Central Florida, so this is a great cash boost for local businesses,” Huey said.

A boost that is set to spread to other businesses outside of downtown Leesburg.

“There are people staying in the hotels, they’re staying at the campgrounds. Of course, our restaurants and bars do really well during this week and then our gas stations, our grocery stores, you know everybody,” Smalley said.

Huey said he hopes this festival will set a new precedent.

“It’s getting people back in the mode of going out, they lost that habit of going out on a Friday night because they couldn’t for a couple of years,” Huey said.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.