SWISS HARLEY DAYS® HISTORY – HOW IT ALL
When in 2004 Harley-Davidson Europe® decided to establish a subsidiary in Switzerland - Harley-Davidson Switzerland GmbH® - the world of events in Helvetic territory also made a major step forward: during that same summer, Harley-Davidson Switzerland® was the initiator and organizer of the 1st Swiss National H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group) Rally® in Mogelsberg.
Since then, the event has taken place every year. It is planned, organized and implemented by Harley-Davidson Switzerland® in collaboration with various old and new business partners. Part of these are Harley-Davidson Switzerland®'s event agencies Fancy Art and Event-Garage - the newly-founded company managing Harley-Davidson®'s events on European scale - sponsoring partners (like LAC, Lugano Arte e Cultura, whom Harley- Davidson® was elected as cultural ambassador of), infrastructure partners and volunteer helpers of the H.O.G. Harley Owners Group® Chapters. As every year, the festival will be a Harley-Davidson® and H.O.G.® "Lifestyle & Fun" get together but also a cultural event for charity. The target group is the riders of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles, but all other riders, friends and enthusiasts as well as local residents and tourists are obviously welcome to join!
In 2008, Harley-Davidson® welcomed over 25,000 visitors to the 5th Swiss National H.O.G. Rally® in Brunnen, on the shores of the Lake Lucerne. The concerts with national and international artists on stage, the presence of the 16 official Harley-Davidson® dealers from Switzerland and over 50 trade stands offering merchandise for sale around the theme Harley-Davidson®, a rich food court and more, made this event a huge success attracting visitors of all ages.
Building on the success of previous years and with a similar but improved program, the 2009 event in Interlaken shifted into higher gear. The change in name from "Swiss National H.O.G. Rally" to "Swiss Harley Days" opened the event to a wider target group of Harley-Davidson® enthusiasts and, with a crowd of 50'000 visitors and 6'000 bikes, maintained its promise to be a bigger and better event than ever!
Thanks to the success of 2009, the European organisation of Harley-Davidson® and H.O.G.® also took attention of this Swiss event. And so, after detailed discussion, it was decided that the Swiss Harley Days 2010® edition would perform together with the 19. Annual European H.O.G. Rally® in Lugano and Campione d'Italia from 16. - 18. July 2010. The postcard-beauty of the location set at the shores of the Lake Ceresio was itself worth the trip to the "Swiss sun-corner" and the international flair with H.O.G.® chapters from all over the world, over 70 exhibitors, a variety of food&beverage offers, a Custom Bike Show with new and antique Harley-Davidson® jewels, a 7-Km-long parade of 2'500 roaring bikes riding from Campione d'Italia to Lugano, the international Swiss Band Gotthard that rocked the stage and the fireworks that lit the sky on Saturday night made the event so perfect that the proposal for a repeat in Lugano also for this year didn't have to convince anybody.