Port Dover revs up for Friday the 13th rally
The bike brigade is set to descend upon Port Dover.
Friday will mark the first PD 13 motorcycle rally since January and only warm weather gathering since May of last year.
Organizers and local service clubs are expecting tens of thousands of people and their rides to line the town’s streets in a tradition that dates back to 1981.
“We’ve prepared for what we call a ‘warm event month,’ which means we need to prepare for whatever could come, so we have parking outside of town, shuttles, roads are closed for vehicle traffic,” said Amie Ferris of the Port Dover Kinsmen, the service club that helps organize the event.
“Everything is being done as if it was a warm summer month.”
The weather forecast for Port Dover on Friday calls for mix of sun and clouds with a high of 20C.
“We’ve had a really good September and October so hopefully that stays with us for Friday and we have a good turnout.”
A Kinsmen beer tent will be posted at the Erie Beach parking lot and camping is available at the former Doverwood school and Kinsmen Park at the east end of town. The Lions Club will offer parking at Silver Lake Park.
There’s a heavy Halloween theme to the Kinsmen’s official event T-shirt, which depicts a skeleton rider holding a flaming pumpkin head with the famous Port Dover Lighthouse in the background. They’ll be available throughout town, while vendors are set up in Powell Park and food trucks line Chapman Street.
At Main and Walker streets, the Molson Main Stage presents the likes of Port Dover native Felicia McMinn, Tragically Hip tribute band, The Practically Hip, and Back in Black, an AC/DC tribute band.
Ferris said there is a “buzz” in town as residents and businesses prepare for Friday’s event.
Norfolk OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk said there will be a heavy police presence.
In an attempt to curb drinking and driving, spot checks will cover every possible way in and out of town, Sanchuk said.
He urged motorists to be careful because of the
“We’re asking everyone, please, take those extra seconds to check your blind spots (and) when you come up to an intersection make sure you look both ways and give yourself another two seconds because those seconds can and will save lives,” he said.
“In previous collisions that we’ve seen, people are looking and can see a motorcycle down the road but they don’t realize how fast it’s travelling and they pull out in front of it.”
And Sanchuk said police will not tolerate distracted driving.
“They’re putting themselves in jeopardy, along with everyone else on the roadway,” he said. “Let’s use some common sense, let’s focus 110 per cent on driving.”
This is the official T-shirt design by the Kinsmen Club for the Friday the 13th biker rally in Port Dover.