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OC Bikefest, Delmarva Bike Week, and the Non-profits that Benefit from these Big Events

The bikes roared into town on September 16th 2021 for Bike Week

Mid September brings cooler temperatures and roaring engines to the Eastern shore.  Delmarva Bike Week and OC Bikefest, the largest motorcycle rally on the East Coast, get started on Wednesday, September 14 with concerts, vendors, parades, official Bikefest merchandise, thrill shows, and alcohol sales.   Why do some people call this huge event Bikefest and others call it Bike Week and who benefits from having this event on the Eastern Shore besides the obvious answer – the event organizers?

OC Bikefest

OC Bikefest is one of many Bikefest events held across the country and is owned by Kathy Micheal based out of Wisconsin.  The OC Bikefest event is based in Ocean City with locations at the Ocean City Inlet, the Ocean Center Convention Center, and at Rommel Harley Davidson.  Wednesday’s concerts featuring Jasmine Cain and Kix are free, but the rest of the music line-up requires tickets and the line-up is BIG:  Disturbed and Jackyl on Thursday, Zac Brown Band and Travis Tritt on Friday and Godsmack and Chenille on Saturday. In addition to these concerts, there are vendors, parades and alcohol sales.  The OC Bikefest website is cross-linked with the Delmarva Bike Week site.

Delmarva Bike Week

Ms. Michael also produces the Delmarva Bike Week event and it looks like tickets to both events are sold together on the same website.  Delmarva Bike Week is a complementary event, in its 20th year, also catering to motorcycle riders with concerts, vendors, thrill performances and more, but is centered in Salisbury at the Shorebirds Stadium.  The concerts include Blister, Brickyard Road, Jeremiah James and Gavin Hades.  There is FREE bike parking.

Alcohol Sales Benefit Non-profits – locally and internationally

Buying beer, twisted tea or a Jack Daniels cocktail may seem like an indulgence to the thousands of attendees, but for the non-profits working the tents and benefiting from the sales, it’s the life-blood of their organizations.  Even the professional bar tenders known as the Gin Gypsies who work this event are organized by an entrepreneur who contributes some of her corporate earnings to non-profits supporting women and children in Guatemala.

The Gin Gypsies come to work each day during OC Bikefest in themed costumes.

The non-profits of OC Bikefest

The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) and the Ocean City Hotel, Motel, Restaurant Association (OCHMRA) are the only two non-profits working on the alcohol sales during OC Bikefest at the inlet location this year.  The Red Knights, the Ocean Pines Chamber, the Cricket Center and Maryland Capital Enterprises all pay a flat vendor fee to work in the Convention Center, but the rest of the revenue generated by alcohol sales in the Ocean City Convention Center goes directly to their non-profits.

OCDC and the OCHMRA will be handling all the cash-only alcohol sales – no credit cards accepted, so bring lots of cash.  The OC Bikefest organization provides the bar-backs, and the professional bartenders known as the Gin Gypsies, the brainchild of Meghan Tarmey who also started the Caddy Girls organization seen on Shark Tank.  Some of the proceeds from Meghan’s businesses goes to non-profits focused on impoverished and orphaned youth.  You can learn more about Meghan and her Shark Tank experience here.

Mike Van Meers and Jay Knerr, OCDC volunteers with a Gin Gypsy.

The Ocean City Development Corporation

Glenn Irwin, the Executive Director of OCDC, says that Bikefest is one of their largest fundraisers all year.  And with OCDC’s mission  to “create and foster a safe and attractive environment in which innovative public and private sector partnerships will collaborate to maximize available resources and opportunities, and eliminate barriers to revitalization in downtown Ocean City Maryland,” OCDC is not only bringing cash into their organization, but they are supporting an event that satisfies this mission by attracting visitors who spend impactful amounts of money with the hotels, restaurants, and small businesses  scattered throughout downtown Ocean City.

Lisa and Dan Stevens join other OCDC volunteers to help raise money during Bike Fest through alcohol sales.

The Ocean City Hotel Motel, Restaurant Association

OCHMRA’s Director, Susan Jones, embodies the mission of her organization as the ultimate people connector.  According to her organizations website, “the OCHMRA is a private, non-profit organization, which exists to connect our industry interests through advocacy, education, and partnerships with the goal of advancing Ocean City as a leading tourism destination.  OCHMRA assists in solving common issues relative to the industry and acts as a clearinghouse for dissemination of information.   The OCHMRA is the ultimate people connector.”  Susan is working with the organizers of Bikefest to coordinate the alcohol sales and the participating non-profits.  For the OCHMRA, the alcohol sales from Bikefest contribute significant revenue to her organization and when COVID cancelled the event, her organization’s budget was stressed because of the loss of revenue from this event.

Map of Bikefest in the Ocean City inlet shows location of beer trucks, the VIP location and the Big Bar where sales benefit local non-profits.

Beverage Options

The inlet parking lot is a center of activity for OC Bikefest from Wednesday, September 14 when the gates open at 4 pm until Saturday evening’s Jasmine Cain concert that begins at 9:30 pm and ends around 11.  The alcohol tents will be pouring from 3 pm until 10 pm Wednesday through Saturday.  The inlet location is closed on Sunday.

The alcohol served at OC Bikefest is purchased under a license obtained by the Town of Ocean City.  Beverage options include Miller Lite, Coors and Coors Lite, Twisted Tea, Blue Moon, Copa Wine, and Monster Energy drinks.  Jack Daniels items include the ready to drink cocktails– lemonade, cola, and honey — as well as mixed drinks.

OCDC is operating 4 beverage tents where all beverage options will be available with the exception of the mixed drinks. They are also working the Jack Daniels truck where you can get purchase mixed drinks, or any of the other beverage options.   The OCHMRA will operate 2 small bar areas with all beer options and canned cocktails will be available.  They will also run the Big Bar and the VIP area where you can get all of those beverages, but also the mixed drinks that are also available in the Jack Daniels truck.

So if you are planning to attend the OC Bikefest in Ocean City, Delmarva Bike Week in Salisbury, or a combination of both events, please get thirsty!  Your purchases have a positive impact on tourism and businesses in Ocean City.

Quick Links

  1. Information on the weekend
    1. Hotel Information
    2. Restaurant & Bar information
  2. OC Bikefest
  3. Delmarva Bike Week
  4. The Ocean City Development Corporation
  5. The Ocean City Hotel, Motel, Restaurant Association


Ann has been with StateVentures since 1999. She moved from Annapolis to Berlin, MD to be closer to Ocean City. She splits her work week between the two locations to help clients and visitors get the best information and value out of our sites. She loves a camera and any excuse to use it.  Her kids are both grown and off adventuring.  Ann loves to travel with her kids and lives with her dog Marley when she's not in Virginia fishing.

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