‘Bearded Charmer’ to lead more than 5,000 bikers to Perry Square
ERIE – He was recycling, repurposing and collecting before it was trendy. He was riding to Sturgis before the town became a household name. He was a motorcycle gearhead before it was cool.
He’s Frank Fritz, one-half of the popular “American Pickers” TV series on the History channel and he will lead Roar on the Shore’s® Bringin’ in the Roar® Bike Parade as the charitable motorcycle rally’s 2018 grand marshal, organizers announced today. The parade departs at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 19 from Presque Isle Downs & Casino before arriving at The Hub in downtown Erie. Donation to ride in the parade is $20 per bike in advance and $25 at the gate.
“Frank Fritz is one of America’s foremost motorcycle experts and collectors,” explained Ralph J. Pontillo, Roar on the Shore’s® executive director. “While he is best known for ‘American Pickers,’ serious motorcycle enthusiasts are aware of his encyclopedic knowledge of all brands, makes and models of vintage motorcycles. He is the real deal. We know he’s toured the country for his TV show, but we are certain he has never experienced the true heart of America that he will witness when he leads our Bringin’ in the Roar® Bike Parade.”
Fritz owns Frank Fritz Finds, an antique store in Savanna, Illinois. Along with being a modern-day collector whose specialties include old and unusual motorcycles, toys and cars, he’s an author, having written “How to Pick Vintage Motorcycles” that details finding, negotiating prices and caring for classic bikes.
Sponsored by the Manufacturer & Business Association, the 12th annual Roar on the Shore® Bike Week — Erie’s official bike week — is set for July 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22, 2018. Proceeds will benefit the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center, Erie’s oldest nonprofit human service provider for children with mental health, behavioral health and severe emotional challenges, many of whom are victims of trauma and abuse.
To date, the MBA and Roar® boards have donated approximately $880,000 to charitable organizations, including the John Kanzius Cancer Research Fund, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie, local Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans, SafeNet, Flight 93 National Memorial Campaign, Boys & Girls Club of Erie, St. Patrick’s Haven, Erie Homes for Children and Adults, St. Martin Center, and Mercy Center for Women.