TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – More than a dozen bikers and community dignitaries gathered in downtown Tampa on Wednesday to kick off the annual United Bikerz Jamboree which will return in July 2021.
“Bikers sometimes have a bad reputation throughout the community as gang members and all those erotic people. Were not. You have businessmen, lawyers, doctors, ”said Chris ‘Top’ Hill, president of the United Bikerz Jamboree.
READ MORE: Easter weekend travel record follows updated CDC guidelines
Organizers say the goal of the United Bikerz Jamboree is to build community pride and identity and to deliver an annual event that offers fun activities and educational opportunities for families and people of all ages.
Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said, “Last year we hosted this event at Raymond James Stadium in the heart of the city. We have seen economic improvements in hotels, in and around this area. “
In 2020, the event lifted the county’s hotel occupancy rate to the highest since the start of the pandemic. This time around, the event is slated for the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds and is expected to bring in around $ 8 million in local economic benefits to Tampa Bay, money much needed since the pandemic wreaked havoc on the region. local tourism economy. “We want to do our part to make sure we spread this economic wealth,” Corrada said.
READ MORE: Piney Point: Officials try to avoid second violation, add 20 new push-ups
“We have had to balance these responses to COVID-19 with keeping our community afloat economically and since then we have shown how, here in the Tampa Bay area, we can safely host events,” added the Mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor.
Retired US Army Sergeant Major Anthony Smith has been a member of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club since 2011. “But I’ve been riding since I was 14 or 15,” Smith said. “When I was stationed in North Carolina, some of the guys talked to me, they saw that I had a motorcycle and they asked me to join the organization. I’ll tell you, it’s an experience. We have been all over the world. The club has 122 sections across the country. “Korea, Hawaii, 8 chapters here in the state of Florida,” he said.
Inheriting the name of the Buffalo Soldiers of 1866, Smith says it’s more than being on the road for them. “Turkey leads, we have toy campaigns. Our mission is to help the community. And although every year here’s a new adventure for him, the name is spotted on his biker vest, and the story that goes with it is history. “It’s fellowship, brotherhood.”
NO MORE NEWS: Watch Derek Chauvin’s essay live
The event will take place July 1-4, 2021 and admission will be $ 40 per person.