Since its establishment in 2016, the Viking Tour Bike Ride by Poulsbo Rotary has experienced significant growth, prompting organizers to consider making it an independent event in June rather than during Viking Fest in May.
The bike ride event encompasses various routes across Poulsbo, complemented by a beer garden featuring live music. In 2023, the event attracted 750 participants, including 420 riders exploring three distinct routes, 230 beer garden attendees, and the support of 60 volunteers. Over the past eight years, the event has raised $150,000 for the Poulsbo Rotary Foundation, contributing to scholarships, grants, and community projects, as stated in City Council documents.
This year, Rotary aims to shift the event to June 15, relocating the beer garden and live music to Waterfront Park. Previously held at different locations, such as Fishline, City Hall, and Poulsbo Village, the move to Waterfront Park is deemed necessary for more space and to encourage participants to spend an entire weekend in Poulsbo. Additionally, the scheduling adjustment ensures the event does not overlap with Viking Fest.
For the June event, Rotary plans to collaborate with downtown businesses for food, host a beer garden featuring local beer, wine, and cider providers, and offer live local music to attract not only bike riders but also others seeking to join the festivities. Organizers propose parking options at The Doctors Clinic, Poulsbo Village, and Gateway Fellowship.
The council has verbally approved Rotary’s proposal to proceed with the beer garden at Waterfront Park.
Councilmember Gary McVey expressed enthusiasm, stating, “I’m thrilled that they are thinking of moving it away from Viking Fest because it has gotten big enough, and it’s probably time it can stand on its own. I think Waterfront Park would be a wonderful location for it.”