Throughout the nation and even the world, many know the Shriners for their charitable work — including the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of more than 20 nonprofit medical facilities found throughout North America that treat children with orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of their families’ ability to pay for the care.Others might recognize the Shriners International fraternal organization for the signature red fezzes that its members wear, or maybe even the tiny cars that members drive along parade routes to the delight of spectators.
In the Daytona Beach area, visitors and locals alike have yet another reason to recognize the famed charitable society — the Shriners International 2018 Conference (also known as the 2018 Imperial Session) will be held in Daytona Beach this year, and the gathering promises to bring with it a collection of fun and open-to-the-public events and celebrations that everyone in the area can enjoy.
If you’ll be in the Daytona Beach area during the mid-July conference dates (or on select dates surrounding the conference), be sure to consider attending one of these exciting associated events:
- Bandshell Concerts and Fireworks: The Shriners Nights of Music at the Daytona Beach Bandshell are set for July 14-16, and Saturday night’s free concert — featuring Journey tribute band Never Stop Believin’ — will be capped off with a free fireworks show!
- Shriners Marketplace: Held daily July 14-19 at the Ocean Center and open to the public with no admission charge, the Shriners Marketplace will feature hundreds of vendors from around the world offering food, apparel, jewelry and much more.
- Walk, Ride or Drive for LOVE: The largest annual fundraiser for Shriners Hospitals for Children, the July 15 Walk, Ride or Drive for LOVE event at Daytona International Speedway offers participants the chance to walk through the UNOH Fanzone, Garage Area and famous Victory Lane, or ride their motorcycle or car for a lap around the most famous track in racing — all for a great cause!
- Motor Corps Competition: Watch and cheer on the drivers of Shriner motorcycles and little cars as they compete for bragging rights and trophies on July 15 at Daytona International Speedway.
- Golf Tournament: Set for July 15 at the LPGA International golf course, this scramble-style golf tournament will offer longest-drive and closest-to-the-hole prizes.
- Shriners Ballyhoo: The July 16 Shriners Ballyhoo — set to be held around the Clocktower on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk — will offer live music by Shriners bands from throughout the nation. The event is free and open to the public.
- Motorcycle Ride: Featuring a police-escorted motorcycle ride and an after-party at Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson, the July 16 Shriners Motorcycle Ride will see spectators line up along Main Street to view the engine-revving procession.
- Parade and Fireworks: The festive July 17 Shriners Parade promises to delight spectators along the A1A parade route starting at 7 p.m. from Sunsplash Park north to the Ocean Center, and a fireworks finale is set to be staged at the Daytona Beach Bandshell.
- Oak Ridge Boys Concert: Catch Grammy Award-winning country superstars and Country Music Hall of Fame members the Oak Ridge Boys as they present a July 18 concert at the Ocean Center that will celebrate the group’s 50 years of musical tradition and four decades of chart-topping singles.