by Janine Anderson

Kenosha News

August 27, 2013

To at least one Kenosha-area resident, Harbor Thunder is a menace, not a festival.

An anonymous complaint earned the city its second Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America, a North Carolina-based group that fights noise pollution in many forms.

The first Noisy Dozen was given to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for its motorcycle blessing ceremony on May 5.

Noise Free America calls tonight’s Harbor Thunder event an “irresponsible celebration of extreme noise.”

Ted Rueter, director of the organization, said it was “particularly outrageous that a local civic organization would celebrate noise.”

But it’s Harley-Davidson. It’s Wisconsin.

And it doesn’t matter, Rueter said. He lived in Wisconsin for 13 years, and understands well the cult status of and state pride in the homegrown company.

“I don’t think Kenosha or anywhere else should be celebrating illegal or harmful noise,” he said.

This is the third Harbor Thunder event. The first honored Harley-Davidson’s 100th anniversary; the second was for its 105th anniversary. This one comes just as Milwaukee gears up for the 110th anniversary celebration.

Dennis Duchene II, president of the Kenosha Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the anonymous resident hasn’t voiced any complaints locally, and that from what he’s seen, people are looking forward to the event.

Yet, he knows big events — whether they involve motorcycle parades or not — can put some people out.

“We understand there may be a noise inconvenience,” he said. “We try to find a balance between the number of events we do so we don’t overdo it and put a burden on the residents.”