Friday 13 May 2011

IT's Friday! THE Friday!!!!!!!

       "...on a steel horse I ride..."
                                  -Bon Jovi

       Friday the Thirteenth.  Traditionally a day of dread, a day cursed, a day when Murphy's is the only law....

     ....Unless you are a merchant or waitstaffer in Port Dover.  Y'see Friday the 13th, for the uninitiated out there, is a day when motorcyclists from everydamnwhere descend on our little burg for a one day gathering of the faithful.  Back in 1981 it started with  a handful of friends who shared an interest in motorcycles and has since gone thermonuclear.
     How big is this shindig?
     Population of Port Dover, on May 12, 2011:  roundabout 5000.
     Number of Warm Bodies walking around town today:  Nearest guess is 90 000.
     Ninety. Freakin'. Thousand.
     Over 10 000 motorcycles.
     A whole lot of vendors.
     Hundreds of cases and kegs of beer.
     Tomorrow, the vast majority will be gone.

     This event has, for 50 consecutive Friday 13s,  been organized by volunteers.  This year is the first year it has been run by the Norfolk County government. Little seems to have changed, except the signage looks more professional. As in previous years, parking lots are set up outside of town, shuttle buses are running, and you aren't getting into town unless you are on two wheels or are a resident  with a pass.  Marina slipholders are quasi-residents, so we get passes.
  We may not be in the water yet, but Dock Six still has it's privileges!

   However, it takes a looooooong time to get into town, pass or no pass.  There are just too many damn people and bikes.  The main street is closed, and becomes a big parking lot for motorcycles.

  Motorcycles have been rumbling past stately Jones manor since dawn, and will continue well past moonrise.

Economically, this is a big event for town merchants.  Somebody estimated that the average visitor will leave town $25 lighter today - that's a nice $2.25 million dollar boost to the local economy.  It's a great way to start the summer season.

There is always the temptation to make it bigger, longer, with big events and concerts and just plaqin more, and every year, saner heads prevail.  This is a homegrown event that has gotten bigger, but tenaciously hangs onto it's low-profile comfortable roots.
If you get a chance, check it out.

As always, thank for taking the time to check us out.  Feel free to "Talk the Dock"!  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment