Jack Dunham, a Sebring Public Works employee, sets up a road block barrier on North Ridgewood Drive Thursday morning in preparation for closing the road for the Run to the Heartland motorcycle festival. RYAN PELHAM/STAFF
SEBRING - A decade ago, motorcycle enthusiasts became familiar with a motorcycle event in Leesburg and felt that Sebring would support one in its downtown. The Heartland Riders Association turned out to be right and this weekend the 10th Annual Run to the Heartland is expected to be much larger than the original and attract thousands of motorcyclists to downtown Sebring, said Lora Todd, marketing director of the association. Todd said she believes the riders love to come to the downtown area. For attendees of the event, they'll get to see motorcycle shows, listen to a variety of bands and have a large selection of food from which to choose.
The event will include the FERE Motorcycle Thrill Show where the performer rides the motorcycle without a seat and balances it on boxes, among other things. There will also be shows put on by the Central Florida Drill Team, which will be using both Harley Davidsons and Gold Wings and stunt shows by Bryan Marino and Jesse Tolar. The drill team will perform at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. The team's final performance will be on noon Sunday. The thrill shows will be held at 6:15 p.m. Friday, 11:15 a.m., 12:30 a.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m., and 6:45 p.m. on Saturday and at 12:45 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. on Sunday. Stunt shows will be held at 6:45 p.m. Friday, 10:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday. Bands performing during the event include, Quasimojo, Shannon Reed, White Collar Crime and Raisin' Cain. Todd said the event will be family friendly. The Heartland Rider's Association will pay the admission to the Children's Museum for children coming to the event. Children can also visit the "Thunder," the American bald eagle interactive display, open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Also on display by Wikked of St. Petersburg will be a replica of the bat bike used during Batman movie sequels. A large variety of food will be present with more than 10 food trucks setting up shop, Todd said. On Sunday morning, the Christian Motorcycle Association will hold a nondenominational service and a free continental breakfast. Signs will direct people where to park. Another event will be the ABATE Poker run that will cover 100 miles in the county. Todd said proceeds from that go to charitable causes. firstname.lastname@example.org (863) 386-5834