Edmonton Motorcycle Toy Run FAQs
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How big is the Edmonton Toy Run?
It started in 1984 with about 250 bikes. We peaked in 1994 and 1995 when exceptionally warm weather brought out about 3,000 motorcycles. Most years we run around 2,000–2,500. Exceptionally cold weather in 1996 (brrrrr) brought numbers that year down to about 600 chilly but faithful riders. 2004 also had an excellent turnout of around 3000 motorcycles in ideal weather conditions but 2007 was the largest turnout yet with approximately 3600 motorcyclists at Capilano Mall - we even ran out of assigned parking.
2008 was our 25th Birthday and GUESS WHAT?
Edmonton motorcycle riders came through yet again. 2008 was the largest and safest ride to date. Capilano Mall was bursting at the seams - bikes were everywhere. It was estimated that more than 6000 motorcycle enthusists assembled at the mall between 0900 AM and 1100 AM. The final tally for the finish line at Hawrelak Park was over 3700 riders who actually participated in the ride from Capilano to Hawrelak Park - with no collisions - absolutely fantastic. To all those riders who participated and made the 2008 ride such a huge success we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Why does the Toy Run always start or end at Capilano Mall?
Because it's in our neighbourhood! In the beginning it was difficult to find places willing to host a motorcycle gathering (even one as tame as the Toy Run). Since day one, Capilano Mall has been and still is a very generous and gracious host and a huge supporter of this event.
Why is the Toy Run always held on a Sunday?
Sunday was chosen because the original organizers worked Monday through Saturday! Also, the organizers wanted as many people as possible to be able to participate. They also wanted to make it an event for the whole family. And besides - there's less traffic on Sundays!
In all the years of conducting this ride, the Toy Run has always held on the last Sunday of September, with only one exception. There was some minor confusion during a leap year...
Can I bring a passenger?
No way! Just kidding. If you can handle a passenger safely, by all means! The more the merrier.
Isn't it dangerous to have all those unsupervised motorcycles on the road at the same time?
It shouldn't be if everybody follows the normal rules of safe road use. An escorted parade does not necessarily guarantee no collisions. There were collisions some years during the escorted, slow-speed parade — a couple of them quite serious. Over the past five years, we are very proud to report that all riders have proven that we can conduct ourselves in a safe and responsible manner on the road - not one collision during the past five events. Think positive — traveling at normal road speeds and following the rules of the road means no more overheated air-cooled motors!
Why don't we have the parade ride anymore?
We could apply for and receive a parade permit. However, it would now cost big bucks to stage a parade of the size and type that the Toy Run requires. The rules governing parades changed a few years ago. These changes affected all organizations staging events which require traffic control so we are not being singled out. In addition, volunteer parade marshalls are no longer allowed to hold or direct traffic at intersections. These volunteer positions would have to be filled by paid police officers. That's a lot of police officers and a lot of money that we believe (even if we had it) would be put to better use in supporting Santas Anonymous. Yes, police officers have volunteered to help the Toy Run on their own time but then they wouldn't be acting in an official capacity... ie. we'd be back to square one.
In addition, the motoring public within the city of Edmonton has been more than accomodating to this event, especially over the past three to four years. We are very happy to report that there has been no collisions during our annual ride along the streets of Edmonton. Both the Motorcyclists and other traffic have been very courteous and obedient of the rules of the road during the ride. Thank you! Please Ride Safe and Ride Smart - not only during this ride but every time you ride.
Why are the T-shirts always black?
Are they? We've had blue ones, red ones, grey ones, white ones, burgundy ones ... but black sells! We order shirts based on previous sales ... and pray for good weather. When people don't attend the Toy Run, they don't buy shirts (we know that well from 1996). But, this is not to say that the shirts will be black every year! We are fickle indeed.
What kind of toy should I bring?
Anything brand new, with good "play value" for a child aged from birth to 12 years. For more information about Santas Anonymous and the types of toys needed, please click on this link - Santas Anonymous
I already bought a toy! Why do I have to pay for food and a T-shirt?
There's no such thing as a free lunch! While by no means an expensive event to put on, there are some costs that return no revenue. Your purchase of a T-shirt or hoodie helps cover some of these costs. Food and refreshments are made available for your convenience and are handled by independent vendors who in turn make donations which go directly to Santas Anonymous, not to the Toy Run.