A month before the old-car folks arrive to Cruise The Coast, the motorcycles are scheduled to roar in for Labor Day weekend for the first Bike the Beach at MGM Park in Biloxi and what is expected to be the Coast’s largest bike event.
Events over the four-day festival will take bikers and their fans across the Coast for a poker run, model contest and a pub crawl.
With tropical weather expected to veer to the east, bike clubs from across the South say they are headed to South Mississippi for the weekend, said Blaine Henderson, director of marketing for Overtime Sports.
“We’ve got bike clubs coming from Atlanta,” he said, along with Louisiana, Texas and other points. “It is going to be family friendly and have a lot of activities for the kids,” he said.
The Biloxi Shuckers home games will be over for the season, making way for the festivities to fill the area around the north entrance to the stadium.
Waiting to greet them will be Paul Teutul Jr. of the television show “American Chopper,” who will be at MGM Park from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday to take photos and sign autographs. He also will serve as the special guest host Saturday for the Make-A-Wish Mississippi benefit.
Paul Jr. will bring the green Geico Bike he built, and Henderson said, “Harley Davidson, Suzuki and other motorcycle stores will be showcasing some of their new 2017 bikes.”
The party will get started Friday at The Dock Bar & Grill in Gulfport, where music and a bikini contest will kick off the four-day modeling contest that local women can enter. Bike the Beach, a Sunday poker run along the Coast, will take riders to Bay St. Louis and end with a free pub crawl in downtown Ocean Springs.
“We’ve had a great response to the pub crawl,” Henderson said, and the city will have dedicated parking along the downtown streets for the registered bikes.
Monday’s celebration wraps up the event at Point Cadet Plaza, where Tim Smith of Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners” show may be wearing his trademark overalls as he meets and greets fans.
“They’re new to Mississippi,” Henderson said of the nonprofit, and provide financial help for kids and their families.
Bike the Beach also will help tourism on the holiday weekend.
“We really just wanted to continue to promote other events besides baseball at the park. It’s something Tim had promised to the city,” he said, referring to Tim Bennett, owner of Overtime Sports, which manages MGM Park, and part owner of the Biloxi Shuckers.
MGM Park will be open for restrooms and food vendors selling barbecue, hot dogs, burgers and other food will be set up outside. Parking is available under the interstate bridge and throughout the downtown near the north entrance.
Admission is $10 for the Saturday event at MGM Park. All the other events are free.
Bike the Beach schedule
Friday: 6-10 p.m. Kick-off party at The Dock Bar & Grill,Grill. Free event with DJ and swimsuit competition in Round 1 of model search
Saturday: 1-6 p.m. The Main Event at MGM Park, Biloxi, with Paul Teutul Jr. from “American Chopper,” bikes on display, food, music, by Derek Norsworthy and Adam Doleac. Free for registered bikers, $10 general admission; kids 10 and under free.
Sunday: 11 a.m. Poker run down U.S. 90 to Bay St. Louis and back, followed by Pub Crawl in downtown Ocean Springs from 1 to 6 p.m.
Monday: 1-4 p.m. Tim Smith from the reality show “Moonshiners” at Point Cadet Plaza along with music and food. Free.