OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (WISN/CNN)—This weekend, Harley-Davidson owners are celebrating the Milwaukee company’s 117th year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the largest Harley events happening this weekend is at Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomowoc, and WISN 12 News was told as many as 15,000 people could take part, but this dealer said they have the space to keep everyone spread out.
Harley parties are happening at six area dealers.
“How many people are you expecting?” WISN 12 News asked the dealer.
“I’ve heard roughly 15,000,” said David Mathey, of Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomowoc.
“There’s no limitations on capacity?” Mintz asked.
“No, we have the luxury of space 280,000 square feet, so we’re able to socially distance, spread everything out,” Mathey said
Masks are recommended here but are not required during the three-day event.
Paula Hare is selling moto-style masks in her vendor tent.
“I’m worried about safety for everybody all the time,” Hare said. “I don’t think masks have to make you look necessarily like a patient, I think you can have a really cool rock star mask that also does the job.”
Karen and Rick Wilm, of Mukwonago, come to this event every year. They brought masks and hope everyone uses good judgement.
“I think if people just respect what’s going on. If they’re sick, stay home, and keep your distance,” Karen Wilm said.
While some Harley parties are going big, other dealers, like suburban motors in Thiensville, scaled back due to the coronavirus cases in their community.
“For us, having to scale it back, it’s a little sad. It’s not the same as it normally is, but we’re still excited to have a good time,” said Ashley Kioski of Suburban Motors Harley-Davidson.
Mintz said there were several hand sanitizer stations out on the grounds in Oconomowoc, and if crowds get too big for the bands Friday night, the dealer said it will stop letting people in.
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