Port Dover ‘Friday the 13th’ motorcycle rally returns

Motorcycle enthusiasts flock to the streets of Port Dover today.

A tradition that began in 1981, the motorcycle rally friday the 13th on the city’s Lake Erie shores is happening today, with attendance expected to be at pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

The event was last held in August 2021 and was called a “no event” due to pandemic restrictions. Despite the limitations, the demonstration attracted some 40,000 people. This time, street vendors, beer tents, and live music from nine different bands return under sunny skies.

“It looks like Mother Nature will cooperate on Friday,” OPP West Division Acting Sgt. Edward Sanchuk told CityNews. “It’s supposed to be sunny, 25 degrees, clear skies and the roads will be dry.”

In the past when the Friday the 13th rally took place on a nice warm summer day.

“We’ve seen over 100,000 people arrive at Port Dover,” says Sanchuk. In August 2010, the weather was similar to today and the demonstration attracted more than 150,000 people.

Photo: relatives of Port Dover.

The roads surrounding Port Dover in southwestern Ontario will be occupied by motorcyclists from all over the province, and perhaps some from the United States, as has been the case in previous years.

Sanchuk and OPP are urging motorists to proceed with extra caution, saying police are “asking people to check their blind spots, look over their shoulders, signal their turns. And if you come to an intersection, please do me a favor. Double check. It will save a life.

RELATED: Drivers warned to be patient with large crowds expected in Port Dover for Friday the 13th: OPP

This reminder is especially imperative, according to statistics published last week show that fatal motorcycle accidents in Ontario have risen steadily over the last ten years, with more than a third of these fatalities occurring in southwestern Ontario.

Sanchuk adds: “If you come to Port Dover and plan to drink or have any other intoxicating substance, make sure you plan a trip home.” He also emphasized that there would be travel verification programs.

“We want to make sure everyone has a great and enjoyable time. But the most important thing is to get home safe and sound to their families,” Sanchuk said.

Sanchuk said there would be enough officers in Port Dover to respond to any calls for service or traffic issues that might arise.

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