Port Alberni Toy Run ready to ride Sept. 15

The 28th annual motorcycle parade will draw more than 1,000 bikes to the Alberni Valley, and they'll all be riding for kids.

Kenn Whiteman promotes the Port Alberni Toy Run in style during the Alberni District Fall Fair parade Sept. 8. Thousands of motorcycles are expected to take part in the Toy Run this Saturday

Kenn Whiteman promotes the Port Alberni Toy Run in style during the Alberni District Fall Fair parade Sept. 8. Thousands of motorcycles are expected to take part in the Toy Run this Saturday

The 28th Annual 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 1,000 motorcycles of every make, model, size, and colour are expected to gather at Little Qualicum Falls on Saturday, Sept. 15. 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, around the fountain at Harbour Quay and up Argyle Street, 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.”

People line the route holding up signs thanking them for helping the children in the Alberni Valley and west coast communities, said Port Alberni Toy Run Society chair David Wiwchar.

“Over the past 28 years, the Toy Run has raised more than a million dollars for local children’s charities, and the people of Port Alberni really appreciate that.”

This year’s Toy Run will also celebrate Port Alberni’s centennial, with a new design featur- ing a 1912 Indian motorcycle designed by artist and Toy Run member Vincent Gladstone.

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.