19th annual autumn Thunder Beach rally wraps up

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)- It’s known as the most biker-friendly, free rally in the United States, it’s the Thunder Beach motorcycle rally.

It happens in Bay County and lasts almost a week, but now the fun has wrapped up for the year with over 60,000 bikers in attendance.

Thunder Beach takes place twice a year, both in the spring and fall in Panama City Beach and brings thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the country.

The four-day rally is completely free and features a bike parade, beauty pageants, poker runs, and live music.

“When you come to a rally it’s immersive and you get to go to venues, where there are venues, you get to handle parts, and you get the souvenir t-shirts, and you get your bike worked on and there are pin-stripers and artists, and custom seats. Things that you can’t just go to the local store in your hometown and do,” said Harley Davidson marketing director, Daric Freeman.

Freeman said hosting it at the Harley Davidson dealership adds an experience you can’t get anywhere else.

“Our dealership specifically within the rally of thunder beach, we have this massive tent sale, we have hundreds of bikes out on display. We also have a lot of corporate vendors, where you have products you won’t be able to see, handle or touch at any other vendors. We also have activities here that are unique.”

Freeman also says is benefits the area financially during the off-season.

“Yes traffic can be a problem sometimes, yes it can be loud in the middle of the night sometimes, but if you translate that into the number of jobs and tax revenue that the city collects, then you can see it’s no different than any other busy weekend during the summer,” said Freeman.

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