The 30th Anniversary Port Alberni Toy Run blasts into the Alberni Valley this weekend, bringing thousands of toys for needy children at Christmas, and tens of thousands of dollars for children’s programs throughout the year.
More than a thousand motorcycles of every make, model, size, and colour are expected to gather at Little Qualicum Falls on Saturday, Sept. 13.
After a ceremony to remember fallen riders, the Alberni Black Powder Club will fire their cannon at noon to start Vancouver Island’s largest motorcycle event. Motorcycles will travel westbound along Highway 4, past Cameron Lake and through Cathedral Grove into Port Alberni, ending at Glenwood Centre around 1 p.m.
“What makes this Toy Run unique are the thousands of people who line the route to cheer the riders, holding up signs thanking them for helping the children in the Alberni Valley and west coast communities,” said Port Alberni Toy Run Chairman David Wiwchar.
“Since 1984, the Toy Run has raised more than $1.5 million for local children’s charities, and the people of Port Alberni really appreciate that.”
Once at Glenwood Centre, there are games and events for children and families, as well as events for the thousands of riders who come from throughout B.C., Alberta, and the
Pacific Northwest to attend the popular annual event.
This year features a couple of twists for the Toy Run: Vince Gladstone met actor and Crystal Head Vodka creator Dan Aykroyd in March, and picked up a commemorative Rolling Stones box from Crystal Vodka to raffle off.
For the first time ever, there will be a second dance on Saturday night of Toy Run weekend: this one a sober dance, to be held at Char’s Landing. Kranky Jack and Cruze Control will provide entertainment at that gig, tickets for which are $20 and available at Glenwood Center on Saturday. Bag checks will be conducted at the door for alcohol.