'A homecoming:' Harley-Davidson's 115th celebration kicks off with 'Moto Carnival' at Veterans Park

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee's biggest motorcycle party kicked off Wednesday, Aug. 29 with the "Moto Carnival" at Veterans Park. Amid the chrome and leather, we didn't have to go far to find some inspirational stories.

"The brotherhood and the sisterhood you get with people wherever you go -- we travel all over, and it's such a welcoming feeling wherever you go," said Dan Barnette, from Rhode Island.

Harley-Davidson "Moto Carnival" at Veterans Park

Dan Barnette

Dan and Janine Barnette made the 1,000-mile trip from Rhode Island, their second go-round.

"We enjoyed the four-day ride out here, seeing the middle America and having a great time," said Dan Barnette.

They marked some important milestones along the way.

Dan Barnette

Harley-Davidson "Moto Carnival" at Veterans Park

"The great part is, for me it's kind of a homecoming. When I came out here for the 110th five years ago, I was just getting over being treated for cancer. In June I was cleared and am cancer-free right now," said Dan Barnette.

Also inspiring, Rhett "Rotten" Giordano in the Wall of Death, an attraction almost as old as Harley-Davidson.

Wall of Death

"At the end of the day, being able to make your living on two wheels is one of the biggest blessings I could have asked for," said Giordano.

He rocks a 1949 model bike as he defies gravity, but it's not the tricks that have kept him going for more than two decades.

Rhett "Rotten" Giordano

Rhett "Rotten" Giordano

"My drive is to show people that anything is possible -- to see the youngsters standing up here, watching us ride," said Giordano.

The fun continues at the Moto Carnival until 11 p.m. Wednesday, and it picks back up Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

CLICK HERE for a complete list of Harley-Davidson 115th anniversary celebration events.