Hogs & Heifers Saloon 14th Anniversary Party
By Penny Osiecki | Photos by Mike Cupp
Bike Week in Las Vegas wouldn’t be the same without Hogs & Heifers Saloon’s annual Anniversary Party that kicks off five days of motorcycles and mayhem. Before I start this article, here is a little bit of history on Hogs & Heifers and how they came to open their Las Vegas location. In 2003, the city of Las Vegas flew to New York and knocked on the front door of Hogs & Heifers looking for a diamond in the rough to help launch its Downtown revitalization project. Loving the odds, Michelle Dell, owner of Hogs & Heifers, rolled the dice and in two years opened Hogs & Heifers Las Vegas. Michelle is the heart and soul behind the daily mayhem, madness and sheer magic that is Hogs & Heifers.
Due to construction taking place at the Downtown Grand, this year’s Rally In The Alley was moved about 100 yards north next to the MOB Museum in the old bus depot lot. Hogs & Heifers jumped through a lot of hoops to pull off their five day party in a new location, including getting a full Caterer’s License in order to serve alcohol off site. Walking up 3rd Street during Las Vegas Bike Week was bizarre, since everyone has come to expect a huge block party in front of Hogs; not seeing the street party when you got there and the obvious absence of the giant bar they usually have in the street, just felt odd and somewhat confusing. But, the moment you enter the bar you realize, much like the Who’s in WhoVille, there is no killing Hogs & Heifers’ spirited heart and ability to throw an amazing party against any odds. The Rally In The Alley event may have had to relocate but the 14th Annual Hogs & Heifers Anniversary Party remained and raged inside the bar. With limited parking on 3rd Street this year, Hogs & Heifers rented metered parking from the City of Las Vegas right on Ogden Avenue just south of the bar to ensure all guests had a place to park their motorcycles.
Over the last fourteen years, Hogs & Heifers’ Anniversary Party has become THE motorcycle industry party that everyone wants to be invited to. You will find owners of motorcycle industry companies, motorcycle builders, TV personalities, Hogs & Heifers regular customers from locals to road regulars and the owners and employees of countless other businesses within the Las Vegas community who come to not only celebrate the bar’s anniversary, but to show their support and appreciation for a place that does a whole lot to support their community year round. This year the support of so many was especially poignant due to the challenges Hogs & Heifers has faced since January in having to reinvent the wheel for all of their street events, since they are unable to utilize the street that Hogs & Heifers has established as party central for multiple annual conventions and area events. Hogs & Heifers owner Michelle Dell got up on the bar and personally thanked all of the vendors and sponsors of the event for taking a chance with her despite the relocation of Rally in The Alley, which was to start in its new location the following day. It’s obvious she is loved by so many within the motorcycle community as the response to her speech was cheers and whistles from everyone in the room.
This party is also considered the kick-off to Rally in the Alley and bike week in Las Vegas so rally-goers are amped and ready to party. So many people travel to Las Vegas from other states just to see their favorite bartenders, who Hogs & Heifers flies in from all over the country specifically to work Rally in the Alley. The party spills outside of the bar onto the sidewalk where you experience the kind of camaraderie only found at Hogs & Heifers. It’s true that if you hang out there long enough you become part of the “Hogs Family.” There was a steady flow of traffic all night circulating through the motorcycle parking spaces as well as foot traffic heading up from the hotels located off Fremont Street. The bar stays open until 4am and rumor has it (I didn’t stay up that late) that it was hopping until closing time.
Even if you didn’t have an invite or a VIP wristband that offers you drink specials, you could still join the party and hang out with the Hogs Family. So, remember this for next year when the 15th Anniversary Party will be held on Wednesday, September 30th with Rally in the Alley taking place October 1-4, 2020.
To check out the photos of the 2019 Anniversary Party and Rally in the Alley,