- From 17 Thu Sep 2015 to 20 Sun Sep 2015 September 17, 2015 September 20, 2015 Tranquility Bay
Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run
Motorcyclists can travel one of America’s most incomparable highways and explore the Florida Keys island chain during the 43rd annual Phil Peterson’s Key West Poker Run. Scheduled Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 17-20, the event typically draws riders from throughout the United States on up to 10,000 bikes.
Participants are to traverse the Overseas Highway (U.S. Highway 1), the 113-mile roadway from mainland Florida to Key West, crossing 42 bridges and discovering long vistas of breathtaking open water. As well as offering a unique motorcycling experience, the Poker Run raises funds for the Diabetes Research Institute and charities of the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.
Through Aug. 31 bikers can register to ride online at www.petersonsharley.com. Beginning Sept. 1 registration is to be open at Peterson’s Harley-Davidson of Miami, 19400 NW 2nd Ave., and Peterson’s Harley-Davidson South, 19825 S. Dixie Highway.
Upon registering, each participant receives a poker sheet and can purchase a weekend parking band. Drivers of cars and trucks also can participate in the run.
Bikers who want to explore the Florida Keys prior to the main event can participate in parties and adventure tours around the island chain Monday through Wednesday, Sept. 14-16.
Starting at 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, Poker Run participants are to ride the Overseas Highway from Miami to Key West, stopping at designated points to draw cards. Holders of the 10 best poker hands are eligible to play in a winner-take-all round of Texas Hold ‘Em, competing for a new Harley-Davidson 500 Street motorcycle or $6,000 cash. The high-stakes round is set for 11 p.m. Saturday at Rick’s/Durty Harry’s Entertainment Complex, 202 Duval St.
A section of Key West’s lower Duval and Greene streets is to be closed to car traffic and open only to motorcycles and pedestrians during much of the Poker Run, so bikers with weekend parking passes can park on the street to display their bikes. Other attractions include a Thursday night “Upper Duval Crawl” and bar stroll, bike merchandise market, “Biker Bash” and street party, custom bike show, tattoo contest, blessing of the bikes and parties at Key West watering holes.
Events conclude Sunday, Sept. 20, with a waterfront brunch at the Conch Republic Seafood Co., 631 Greene St. in Key West’s Historic Seaport.