Tens of thousands potentially descending on Port Dover for Friday the 13th: OPP | Globalnews.ca

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Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are preparing for the possibility of some 50,000 participants for Friday the 13th celebrations in Port Dover, Ont. this weekend.

The annual event, held once and sometimes twice a year since 1981, usually draws tens of thousands of bikers to the small community in the warmer months, with lower numbers in the winter.

With Environment Canada’s forecast called for mainly sun and temperatures around 15 C most of the day, OPP Const. Andrew Gamble suspects there will be a significant but not overwhelming crowd.

“We’ve seen upwards of 100,000 people come into Port Dover for events that fall in July or August,” Gamble said.

“We’re not expecting to see a number like that, but at any rate, people will certainly come down for the event.”

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The last event, in January, only drew a handful of bikers due to cold temperatures and slick driving conditions.

The rally in May of 2022 drew more than 100,000 people, according to police estimates.

Several collisions upset that event, including one at Blueline Road and St. John’s Road that left a motorcyclist dead.

Despite being just weeks before Halloween, Mayor Amy Martin doesn’t expect the October edition to bring any additional complications just a couple of people dressing up to the theme.

“They respect the community for the most part, and they contribute to the community,” Martin said.

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“It’s a massive economic driver for a lot of our businesses and our service clubs, so the event has certainly changed over the years.”

Some road closures around high-traffic areas will be in effect.

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