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| Suncoast Post Staff |

The 26th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival returns to the Sarasota Fairgrounds on February 16-18, 2024, and for the first time will feature three headliners: Molly Hatchet (February 16 at 8 p.m.), Grand Funk Railroad (February 17 at 8 p.m.), and Creed Fisher (February 18 at 3 p.m.). Discounted tickets will be available beginning November 1 and include free parking.

This iconic Thunder by the Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is organized by, and benefits, Suncoast Charities for Children in support of critical programs and services for local children, teens, and adults with special needs. In addition to the headliner acts announced, Foreigner Experience, Stormbringer, One Night Rodeo, The Lost Boys, Nobody’s Fool, and KJB will be performing the best of classic rock and country music live on stage. The festival will feature over 100 vendors, a bike show, motocross freestyle demonstrations, Universal Championship Wrestling, activities for the kids, a food court, and more for the entire family to enjoy. Thunder Alley will make a return inside Robarts Arena, showcasing plenty of custom bikes on display. Sarasota’s own custom bike builder, Kory Souza of Kory Souza Originals, will be hosting a motorcycle stereo sound-off competition and unveiling a new custom-built motorcycle. On Sunday, February 18, a motorcycle charity ride called “Ride So Children Can Thrive” will begin at Adrenaline Harley-Davidson, with stops at several non-profit agencies that receive funding support from Suncoast Charities for Children, ending at the festival.

Thunder By The Bay

A $25,000.00 matching grant has also been announced for the festival thanks to The James M. Doss Charitable Foundation. Executive Director of Suncoast Charities for Children, Lucy Nicandri, stated: “We are so appreciative of the generosity that The James M. Doss Charitable Foundation continues to provide. Their matching grant during the 2023 Festival helped us raise just over $50,000.00 in support of our mission to serve individuals of all ages with special needs. It was also a wonderful way for people to contribute and feel a part of the festival, even if they were unable to attend. Our goal is to raise even more in 2024!”

In 2023 the festival generated a net revenue of $315,000.00 for Suncoast Charities for Children. Some of the funding allocations from this net revenue included: New classroom furniture and assistance packages for preschool children attending Children First, new occupational/speech therapy testing materials and sensory tools for The Florida Center for Early Childhood, seed money to start the first-ever Summer Camp Shriver in Sarasota for Special Olympics athletes, funding a summer camp for the blind and the purchase of new safety helmets and uniforms for Venice Challenger Baseball, and the construction of a new outdoor therapeutic area at Loveland Center. A $50,000 grant was also made to the Suncoast Foundation to assist with maintenance and necessary capital expenditures needed at these agencies.

Five additional fundraisers scheduled to take place in advance of the three-day festival include the 10th Annual Sporting Clay Tournament, a Thunder By The Bay “Rocks The Runway” Fashion Show, “Born To Be Wild” Festival Kickoff Party, a “Whiskey Wind Down” tasting paired with food, and a “Taste of Thunder” craft beer tasting experience. Presenting Festival sponsors include Adrenaline Harley-Davidson and S&S Motorsports. Major Sponsors include FCCI Insurance Group, Sarasota Ford, Sonny’s BBQ, United Rentals, USA Fence, Everglades Equipment, and Budweiser.

For tickets and more information, visit THUNDERBYTHEBAY.ORG | (941) 487-7904. 

Photos from Suncoast Charities for Children

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