What began as a vision in 1996 has grown into one of the biggest events of the year in South Dakota.
Sixteen years ago, J&L Harley-Davidson of Sioux Falls created a fundraising event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Dakota, designed to give motorcycle enthusiasts a reason to ride for charity while showcasing the city at the same time. With this vision, Hot Harley Nights was born – and so was an amazing annual tradition. The first year, 250 people participated in the casino run. The “party” was held in a small downtown parking lot and $3,200 was raised for the cause. The hope was to continue the fun and grow the event.
J&L Harley-Davidson is pleased to announce that in its 17 years of Hot Harley Nights, over $1.7 million dollars has been raised, and hundreds of wishes have been granted to children with life-threatening illnesses. In 2012, over 1,500 people registered for the casino run and 4,500 riders participated in a parade that stretches 6.7 miles through Sioux Falls, past thousands of viewers waving their American flags. After the parade, nearly 40,000 people converged at Falls Park West to enjoy live music, a bike show on Main Street, food vendors, a silent auction and much more. At the end of the final evening, a check for $164,129.68 was presented to Make-A-Wish of South Dakota.