Leesburg Bikefest attendees revved up for full festival, preparing for wicked weather

More than 100,000 bikers expected in Central Florida

LEESBURG, Fla.Leesburg Bikefest revved up Friday, but motorcyclists, musicians and food vendors may have to deal with stormy weather that has plagued Central Florida this week.

More than 100,000 bikers from around the country were expected to flock to the annual event, which sets up around Leesburg’s downtown historic district.

Organizers said drivers in the area should expect parking lot and street closures and, of course, heavy traffic.

There will be more than 40 concerts taking place throughout the three days on outdoor stages, along with bike shows and over 100 vendors. Major performers include Buckcherry, Warrant and Whey Jennings.

There will also be activities outside the main festival area.


The forecast calls for more storms from Friday through Sunday. Earlier this week, hail pounded Lake and Brevard counties on separate days. Several tornado warnings were issued in Central Florida on Thursday, but there were no reports of any touching down.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider | SNOW WAY: Ice covers I-95 in Fla. | DeSantis vs. Disney: Governor responds to lawsuit]

Mystic Ice Cream shop manager Paula Cannon has one word for the business they’re expecting this weekend.

“Big, big, big, big, big lines, big,” Cannon said.

Cannon said they’ve made nearly 700 to 800 gallons of ice cream to prepare for Bikefest and other events happening in the region this weekend.

Co-owner of Two Old Hags Wine Shoppe, Michael Huey, said they are looking forward to the return of the three-day bike fest.

“Really excited to see it come back to life in our small town,” said shop co-owner, Michael Huey.

This year marks the first time the bike fest has held a three-day festival since the pandemic It’s not just small businesses preparing for the comeback, first responders are too.

“We actually have teams deployed throughout the venue, we have people on Segways, teams that are on transport carts,” said Lake County Fire Rescue Deputy EMS Chief John Simpson. “We’re here, we want everybody to have a great time. We’re here in case there is a medical issue we’re able to go into the crowd, extract them from the crowd, take them to a rendezvous point and get them safely to a hospital.”

Simpson also said they’ll be paying close attention to this weekend’s weather.

“Our plan is to try and keep everybody safe and you know should we get really foul weather, we’ll get everybody to a safe place,” Simpson said.

Bikefest attendees say they are ready for the full experience.

“The one-day fest, you didn’t get enough out of it,” said Bikefest attendee Luckey. “Leesburg loves having us here, so it’s a great fest to be at.”

“It’s nice to see things getting back to normal it’s been a long time coming,” said The Villages resident John Lindahl. “It was very depressing those years.”

If you’re heading to Bikefest this weekend and want to stay weather aware, you can download the News 6 PinPoint weather app in the app store.

For a complete guide to events, plus road closure information, head to the Leesburg Bikefest website.

Check out every episode of Riff On This in the media player below:

About the Authors:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.

Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.