Town readies for another rally 0
Dave Vaillancourt and Dave Hendry from the Waterloo area enjoyed a ride to Port Dover on Wednesday ahead of the Friday the 13th motorcycle rally this week. Thousands of motorcycles are expected to attend Friday’s event. (SARAH DOKTOR Simcoe Reformer)
Preparations for this Friday’s motorcycle rally in Port Dover are already underway.
Vendors, portable washrooms and garbage cans were starting to pop up in Port Dover early in the week as the small lakeside town prepares to welcome thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts.
“It’s pretty hectic,” said Elaina Pring, owner of On the Fringe Destination 13 on Main Street. “We’ve been cleaning and getting the store ready for two weeks.”
The motorcycle apparel shop will also have three other locations set up around town, selling t-shirts marked with the Friday the 13th insignia to help meet the demands on the day of the event.
“They’re already coming in saying, ‘We’ve got to get our t-shirts,’” said Pring.
Some bikers have come to the town this week to enjoy the ride, but won’t be attending the rally on Friday.
“The ride is enjoyable,” said Dave Vaillancourt from the Waterloo area.
Vaillancourt has other commitments on Friday, but said he was here for the large rally in August 2010.
“I wanted to experience Dover (on Friday the 13th),” he said.
His riding partner for the day, his neighbour Dave Hendry, said he was surprised other towns haven’t tried to create similar events to join in on the economic boost the town receives from the thousands of bikers that flood the streets during the rally.
There are issues, however, that come with an influx of that many people, and Norfolk County OPP are prepared for the crowd.
“There will be a highly visible police presence,” said Const. Ed Sanchuk with the Norfolk County OPP. “Our primary focus is on public safety and security.”
Police have dedicated resources to ensure the event runs safely and smoothly, as summer events are known to be the most popular.
“We just want everyone to be patient,” said Sanchuk.
He urges motorists to use extra care while driving and to be cautious of the increase in motorcycle traffic.
“There will be traffic related issues,” said Sanchuk.
Roads in the town’s core will be closed to motorists and OPP officers will be at roadblocks set up at the entrances into town to help with traffic flow.
The Port Dover Kinsmen will provide parking on St. John’s Road and Highway 6. Parking will cost $10 per person with a maximum of $40 per vehicle. Youth under 16 are free. There will be shuttle bus services into town from the parking lot locations.
Festivities will be underway on Thursday with a concert on Main Street and Walker Street, presented by the Port Dover Board of Trade and Port Dover Minor Hockey.
Dry County and After the Lounge will take the stage starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday and again at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
“Everybody’s there to party,” said Scott Bollert, singer of After the Lounge and a Norfolk County native. “Everybody’s there for a good time.”
“People want to rock,” he said, adding they won’t be disappointed with the show.
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