Las Vegas Bikefest 2013 ~ Fremont Street Hogs & Heifers!
The Las Vegas Bikefest is an annual event that draws tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from around the globe. Prior to 2013, the Bikefest was a citywide event and the custom bikes were lined up all along the Las Vegas Strip all the way to downtown. In the years leading up to this time period, casinos on The Strip have been taken over by corporations that have lost touch with Las Vegas traditions and as a result, a lackluster decision was made to move Bikefest off The Strip. Unknowingly, Bikefest attendees that booked stays on The Strip ended up asking “Where are all the bikes?” As it turned out, the Bikefest events were restricted to Fremont Street, downtown Las Vegas and Cashman Center. Good old downtown Las Vegas rolled out the welcome mat for this long running tradition, just like it always did in the past!
After getting to Fremont Street, the first thing that I noticed was the police presence and that the custom bikes were restricted to a few areas on Fremont Street. Upon first thought, it was easy to assume that the downtown Bikefest event was going to be a bummer, just like it was on The Strip, but after rounding the corner on Fremont Street the sights and sounds under the big canopy confirmed that the wild and crazy Bikefest was definitely what was going on!
The Plaza Casino was one of the downtown resorts that hosted Bikefest and many great looking custom motorbikes were on display in the valet area. I snapped a few photos of the bikes, while chatting with a few Harley fans. The Harley fans confirmed that other than here on Fremont Street, everything else was going on at Cashman Center and that was the place to be. After spending about a half hour around the band stage at the Golden Gate, it was time to grab a cab to Cashman Center, then return later when the Bikefest party really gets going on Fremont Street!
After walking back from Cashman Center to Fremont Street, a quick bite to eat was well in order at the Heart Attack Grill, which was kind of like being in a big biker hospital ward party. The doctor and nurse theme of this famous burger stand was most conducive for scarfing down a Coronary Dog and an ice cold beer while there!
After the Heart Attack Grill hospital party, it was a sheer mission of going from one Bikefest band stage party to the next. Speed metal, ’80s pop, Zeppelin and even AC/DC could be heard jamming all over Fremont Street! The big Fremont Street Bikefest party audience was a sea of bikers holding tankards of beer while having a good time. Bikefest was a really cool scene on Fremont Street, but a few blocks away it was even better at the old Hogs & Heifers Saloon!
Hogs & Heifers is a notoriously wild Las Vegas biker saloon that is located across the street from the Downtown Grand Casino, near the Mob Museum. This old west saloon definitely welcomes bikers with open arms. A great DJ was spinning hard rock music and the bartmaids were go-go dancing on the bar. A huge crowd of motorbike fans gathered at this saloon to party and check out the cool looking bikes that were on display on the street. Hogs & Heifers was the most happening place to be at anytime during the 2013 Las Vegas Bikefest!
Overall, I had a blast at the 2013 Las Vegas Bikefest and met many great people. I spent 14 years riding nothing but motorbikes, so it was easy to get in tune with this cool scene. Blue Oyster Cult headlined at Cashman Center and a second upcoming Bikefest article will feature this event. The Las Vegas Bikefest sure is a wild annual event that is well worth experiencing while in town, especially if you happen to be a biker at heart!