Port Dover Friday the 13th biker rally expected to be largest ever

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Daily Brew

It's tradition. Every Friday the 13th since 1981, bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts converge on the small Ontario town of Port Dover on the north shore of Lake Erie.

The very first gathering of bikers, initiated by a local bike shop owner, had just 25 people show up.

Today, an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 bikers are expected to arrive in town, the largest turnout in the bike rally's history. The high-number expectation is due to the great weather and the fact that today is the last Friday the 13th of 2012.

To welcome the cyclists, Port Dover set up additional portable washrooms and garbage cans, increased police presence, brought in vendors, and organized an outdoor rock concert on Main Street.

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The rallies are great for Port Dover's economy, often generating up to $2 million for the town, CityNews reports.

While the Port Dover celebrations might seem overwhelming for the small town of 6,387 (according to a 2011 census), the bike rally is tiny compared to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

Usually held in the first full week of August, the annual rally attracts over 500,000 riders — an impressive 754,844 bikers arrived in 2000 — and turns Main Street into a five-block-long bike-only festival.

Happy Friday the 13th — unless you're superstitious. In which case, good luck.