Harley Fest returns to Freedom Hill

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 11, 2013

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre will make room for vroom at its 2013 WRIF and Wolverine Harley-Davidson Harley Fest June 15.

Amphitheatre general manager Kevin Cassidy said the last time Freedom Hill hosted the Harley Fest was in 2008. After Freedom Hill closed in 2009 over differences between the past ownership and Macomb County, the event was staged elsewhere in Michigan, he said.

Cassidy said Freedom Hill’s reopening and the festival’s return have generated excitement. While he said he is not a Harley rider himself, he attested to the event’s enduring popularity.

“There are over 10,000 bikes on site, people riding in on them,” he said. “It’s a major ride. … The enthusiasts all have a great time, and it’s a great setting because it’s in a park.”

During Harley Fest, a handful of tribute bands will play rock anthems of old. Those bands include Stiff Competition (Cheap Trick), Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top), Seventh Son (Iron Maiden), Banned from Earth (Black Sabbath), Night Train (Guns N’ Roses), Ramble On (Led Zeppelin) and Hells Bells (AC/DC).

\Actors Kim Coates and Theo Rossi from the “Sons of Anarchy” TV show on FX will visit for a meet-and-greet with fans.

Although the events inside the park itself are free, seeing a couple of the amphitheatre acts later in the day will require tickets. The bands Hinder, Saving Abel and Three Days Grace are scheduled to play in the amphitheatre.

Frank D. Blowers, community customer relations at Wolverine Harley-Davidson in Clinton Township, said his store plans to host a trip of Harley riders from the store to Freedom Hill on festival day.

He described the enthusiasm of Harley Fest attendees as incredible and predicted that the place “will be jam-packed all day long.”

“It’s one of the things that is unique about Harley-Davidson motorcycles is that there is a camaraderie between riders, owners, that is unprecedented in any motorcycle (brand),” he said. “It’s built in America. It’s ridden by Americans here in America.”

Harley Fest is part of the opening month of Freedom Hill’s 2013 schedule, which includes acts like Lady Antebellum, The Beach Boys and “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The 2013 WRIF and Wolverine Harley-Davidson Harley Fest will begin at 10 a.m. June 15 at Freedom Hill, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, in Sterling Heights. Admission is free for park events, but tickets are required for the amphitheatre shows, which start at 6 p.m.

Learn more about Freedom Hill and tickets at www.freedom hill.net or by calling (586) 268-9700. Find out more about Wolverine Harley-Davidson in Clinton Township at (586) 463-7700.