The Eastern Shore of Maryland is one of the hidden gems of the East Coast and the Beast of the East Custom Bike Show is a pearl of a show just getting shucked for all to see.
The April 22-24 show is designed for talented bikers who have taken their artistic visions and transformed that energy into radical custom bikes that just scream for attention. To make it interesting, the Beast of the East is rewarding the best bike’s builder with $10,000 top prize. Second place will receive $5,000 and third place gets $2,500.
"There are so many bike builders out there who people only in their immediate area have heard of,’’ said The Beast of the East’s Bruce Bennett. ‘‘Those are the bike builders we are interested in, the talented guys who still build bikes for themselves and for their customers.’’
The show will be open Friday, April 22, from noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 with children 7 and under free.
For truly talented bike builders, the shot at a cash prize may be the shot in the arm needed to propel them into chasing their dreams.
While the Beast of the East will feature Discover Channel’s ‘‘Southern Steel’’ stars Milwaukee Iron and its 80-foot show rig for all three days, the show will be a chance for lesser-known builders to strut their stuff. Milwaukee Iron’s Randy, Lee and Gary started in shows like this and now have reached the top echelon of the profession. They return to the Beast of the East, which they attended last year, but not to participate for the big money.
‘‘The Beast of the East wanted to bring Milwaukee Iron back as the defending champion of the Beast of the East, but strictly as a display show piece. They crawled their way to the top building bikes, not through some marketing plan. We want the Beast of the East winner this year to take that same route,’’ said Bennett.
Also attending the Beast of the East, strictly as a show centerpiece, will be New England legend and long-time custom bike builder Dave Perewitz. Perewitz built his reputation through hard work and sweat, moving from an awesome custom painter into one of the most respected custom bike builders in the county.
Perewitz, who has built bikes for many high-profile companies including Gibson Guitars, will also be on site all three days of the event.
The show, held at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, also features other builders such as MF Motorsports of Baltimore, Independence Choppers of Newark, Del., Stone Cycles from Kent Island, Md., and Cycle Creations, New Church, Va. The event is sponsored by The Harley-Davidson Shop of Ocean City, Harley-Davidson of Seaford, Harley-Davidson of Rehoboth Beach, Seacrets, Coors Light, Tri-Supply and Equipment, The Daily Times and WBOC and UPN 21 TV.
But the appeal of the second annual event goes far beyond the Mid-Atlantic area. Making the trip to Maryland will be Darkside Choppers of Georgia as well as Jolly Roger Customs from Michigan.
‘‘These cats from across the country will give The Beast a different flavor than many other winter and spring shows,’’ said Bennett. ‘’’We’re really excited to add some southern charm and mid-western iron to the show. We think this diversity is something special and we can’t wait to talk bikes with these builders.’’’
The show will also feature a day-long band showcase and tattoo vendors Independent Tattoos and Obey Tattoo, who will be doing ink work on site, are sponsoring a tattoo contest as well. The Ives Family’s Globe of Death and their high-flying brothers will also be at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.
A five-band showcase, sponsored by 96 Rock and Kiss 105.5 FM takes place Saturday featuring local heavyweights Chowderfoot, Fourth Element, Agents of the Sun, Lennex and Marino.
The Beast of the East works in conjunction with Pork in the Park, a national barbecue cook-off in Salisbury the same weekend. featuring prize-winning barbecue, live music, beer and more.
‘‘The combining of a radical bike show and the equally creative work of the barbecue chiefs makes this a natural partnership,’’ said Benet McCormick, promoter of The Beast of the East. ‘‘This is a tremendous addition we can offer visitors to The Beast of the East and the Salisbury area and we are as excited to have them with us as they are to have The Beast feeding on that wonderful barbecue.’’’
A mixture of leather, jewelry, parts and accessory vendors offering a wide-ranging selection of motorcycle related products will round out the Beast of the East.
For visitors who have bikes they are proud of, The Beast of the East Ride-in Bike Show will be Saturday, April 23.
Check out www.delmarvabikeweek.com for updates on The Beast of the East.