The entertainment scene in downtown Fort Myers has grown and expanded quite a bit over the years – not just with new restaurants, bars and clubs, but also with events that literally shut down the city's quant streets, only to be filled with fun and revelry.
Fort Myers Bike Night is one such event. It started as a local activity on a Thursday night, attended by a few dozen bikers and a few dozen more onlookers. More than 10 years later, this event attracts thousands, no longer just from the Fort Myers area but from all over the state of Florida.
Thousands of motorcycles line the streets of downtown during Fort Myers Bike Night — Photo courtesy of Kruisin With Kati / Fort Myers Bike Night
Seeing Fort Myers Bike Night’s potential, new organizers moved the event to a Saturday in an effort to increase its appeal for a weekend getaway and boost visits to the downtown River District. Now, hotels in the area are booked well in advance, as riding clubs from across the state make the trip to "the Fort."
For riders and owners, the event has a plethora of vendors with the latest accessories, equipment, services and kitsch related to biking. Medals are also handed out for the best bikes in a variety of categories.
For non-riders, this is a street party full of great people watching and the discover of some amazing machines.
Medals are handed out to favorite bikes during the celebrations — Photo courtesy of Kruisin With Kati / Fort Myers Bike Night
Some of the most successful events have drawn as many as 6,000 bikes of all colors, shapes, sizes and speeds. You’ll see choppers, vintage bikes, plush bikes, bikes with neon light kits and everything in between. You may wonder how the riders are able to operate some of them. The bikes are parked in tight rows, up and down the streets of downtown. It really is something to see.
Besides the rumble of motorcycle engines, you’ll hear lots of music. Two to three stages are typically set up to accommodate live bands, and there's plenty of space for dancing.
Local merchants also get involved by setting up special displays, and many restaurants bring their food out of the kitchen and into the streets.
Live music features prominently at Fort Myers Bike Night — Photo courtesy of Kruisin With Kati / Fort Myers Bike Night
The Deli is known for cooking up some great hotdogs, while Ford’s Garage cranks out juicy burgers. The Hideaway pulls out grills and serves up some tasty Philly cheese steaks in a narrow but packed side street.
There are only four bike nights in Fort Myers, and they always occur the second Saturday of the month in March, May, November and January. The action starts at 6 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m.
Fort Myers Bike Nights are free, and they're family friendly, too.