The Harley Owners Group's state rally is bringing a much-needed economic boost to the Emerald Coast this week.



Organizers don't know exactly how many people will descend on the Destin area for the five-day event, but coordinator Bruce Fuller said at least three area hotels are completely sold out, another is nearly full and the RV park on Okaloosa Island is booked solid.



Ramada Plaza Beach Resort on Okaloosa Island is the host site of the event, which is expected to have an economic impact of more than $2 million on the area. General Manager Joe Guidry told The Log that the recent shutdown of several federal government departments has forced the cancellation of a couple of events that were scheduled at the resort this month. Not having those events is a major blow to the hotel's October income.



"I've lost $175,000 in business this month alone off of that stuff," Guidry said. "The H.O.G. is really what's going to save us for this month."



H.O.G. is not your typical motorcycle group. It is owned and operated by Harley Davidson, which started the group in 1983. More than a million members worldwide are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the group this year.



Guidry said he worked with H.O.G. when the Emerald Grande hosted the rallies in 2010 and 2011, and said that the group doesn't bring the overly rowdy atmosphere for which many motorcycle groups are notorious.



Most of the rally is open to the public, including a Harley show at The Palms Resort, vendors at The Boardwalk throughout the rally, shows by motorcycle drill teams, a concert by the Coal Mountain Band at The Palms, two shows by daredevil Bubba Blackwell, who has broken every motorcycle jumping world record previously held by Evel Knievel, and a parade of flags starting at the Ramada and ending at The Palms.



"We are probably going to have 35 to 40 different states with flags flying," Fuller told The Log. "I heard there is, maybe, a possibility that (country music singer) Travis Tritt will be leading that parade."  



For more information on the rally, including a complete schedule of events, visit flstatehogrally.com.



 



H.O.G. rally to feature Parade of Flags



A Parade of Flags is scheduled to roll along U.S. Highway 98 on Oct. 26, the final day of the 2013 Florida H.O.G. Rally. Although some events of the week-long rally are closed to the public, the parade will welcome spectators. It will begin on Okaloosa Island at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 and head east to The Palms of Destin. An anniversary party with the Coal Mountain Band and a Bike Show will follow at The Palms, beginning at noon. Harley-Davidson riders from across the nation are expected to participate. Other activities during the rally will include stunt shows, time trials and bike drills in The Boardwalk’s parking lot.



 



Schedule of Events



Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Early Arrivals Party
Howl at the Moon at the Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)




Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Registration
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Bike Games/Bike Show Sign-up
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Vendors
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Self-guided Rides
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Poker Run
Heritage Cycles Harley-Davidson
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Corn Hole Challenge
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Shuttle bus to the Kick-off Party at The Palms
Best Western/Hampton Inn/Ramada Plaza Beach Resort/Emerald Grande
6:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Kick-Off Party
The Palms
8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Poker Hand winners announced
The Palms
9:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Shuttle bus from the Kicko-off Party at The Palms
The Palms




Thursday, Oct 24, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Vendors
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Registration
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Bike Show Sign Up
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Guided Rides Depart
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Self-guided Rides
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Bubba Blackwell autographs
Heritage Cycles Harley-Davidson
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Open house & BBQ
Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Poker Run
Heritage Cycles Harley-Davidson
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Bike Games Trials begin
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Drill Teams Practice Begins
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Poker Run Ends/McGuire's Irish Pub Party
McGuire's Irish Pub, 33 U.S. Hwy 98, Destin
3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Novice Bike Games
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Bike Games Awards
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Bobby Friss performing at the Swamp
The Swamp (Boardwalk, next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)




Friday, Oct 25, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Registration
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Vendors
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Bike Show Sign Up
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Guided Rides Depart
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Self-guided Rides
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Open house & BBQ
Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach
11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Poker Run-part of the Daily Double
Heritage Cycles Harley-Davidson
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Poker Walk-part of the Daily Double
Harbor Walk Village, Destin
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Bubba Blackwell Stunt Show
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Drill Teams Perform
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Draw Poker Hands for Poker Run/Poker Walk
AJs Seafood & Oyster Bar (Harbor Walk Village, Destin)
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Pro Class Bike Games
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Poker Run/Poker Walk Awards
AJs Seafood & Oyster Bar (Harbor Walk Village, Destin)
5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Bubba Blackwell Stunt Show
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Shuttle bus to Travis Tritt Concert
The Palms/Summer Place Inn/Emerald Grande
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Travis Tritt Concert (Headliner Band)
Convention Center (across the street from Boardwalk and the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
9:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. Bobby Friss performing at the Swamp
The Swamp (Boardwalk, next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
10:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Shuttle bus from Travis Tritt Concert and Bobby Friss/Swamp Party
The Boardwalk (across the street from the Convention Center)




Saturday, Oct 26, 2013

7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. 2014 State Rally Planning Meeting
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Vendors
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Parade Lineup
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Drill Teams
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Registration
Ramada Plaza Beach Resort
11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Parade of Flags departs
Boardwalk (next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. H.O.G. Anniversary Party with Coal Mountain Band
The Palms
12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Bike Show
The Palms
2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Bike Show Awards Presentation
The Palms
7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony
The Swamp (Boardwalk, next to the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort)
8:00 p.m. - 11:00 a.m. Final Rally Party featuring Mustang Sally
The Swamp
9:15 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. Bubba Blackwell Night Stunt Show
Boardwalk
9:15 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. Bubba Blackwell Night Stunt Show
Boardwalk
10:00 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. Free drawing for 2014 Thunder Beach Rally accommodations/H-D rental
The Swamp