Over 100,000 converge on Port Dover, Ont. for Friday the 13th biker rally

Large crowds converged on Port Dover, Ont. Friday as motorcycle enthusiasts gathered for Friday the 13th.

Bikers flock to the lakeside Ontario town whenever the 13th day of the month falls on a Friday – something that happens only once in 2022.

Police estimate over 100,000 people rolled into Norfolk Country for the rally this year.

That’s a return to pre-pandemic levels, after only between 35,000 to 45,000 attended the unsanctioned event in 2021.

Already PACKED here in Port Dover as we could see 200 thousand people roll through here on this beautiful day! @CTVKitchener pic.twitter.com/fUBlqAVdX3

— Will Aiello (@CTVWillAiello) May 13, 2022

“Last year sucked,” said Lisa Waite who travelled to the event from Hamilton. “This year so far has been a great turnout… can’t ask for anything better.”

"It's awesome," said Mike Spike. "Good people, good food, lots of bikes, lots of people and comraderie. This is great. You can't beat this."

The rally also brought a boost to local businesses.

"Just to see people out on the streets again and walking around, it's been a long haul for everybody," said Dan Rieckermann of Multibrand Clothing Boutique. "Everyone is looking forward to seeing everyone and having some sales."

"It's fantastic," said Mary Anne Sault, the manager of Schofields Bistro. "After the past couple years from the pandemic, its just been wonderful to have so many people lined up at the door since we opened. It's great, we love it. We love when Friday the 13th happens."

The county has created a map with road rules for the gathering, including closures, one-way traffic and parking restrictions.

Travelling to, from, or around Port Dover on Friday? ��️��

Please note road closures, one-way traffic, and parking restrictions for Friday the 13th. Road closure details and a downloadable map can be found here �� https://t.co/LqpuTxO8LG pic.twitter.com/mflCxz0MIp

— Norfolk County (@NorfolkCountyCA) May 12, 2022

The following roads will be closed Friday from 3 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:

  • Nelson St. East (from St. Patrick to Hwy. 24)
  • Greenock St. West (from St. George to Richardson Drive)
  • Richardson Drive (from Nelson St. West to Greenock St.)

These roads will be closed from Thursday at 4 p.m. to Saturday at 4 a.m.:

  • Main St. (from Clifford St. to Walker St.)
  • Market St. East (from Main St. to St. Andrew St.)
  • Market St. West (from St. George St. to Main St.)
  • Park St.

The only exceptions will be made for emergency and service vehicles.

The county also said there would be no dash passes issued, or required, for residents this year. There would also be no shuttle service offered.

Provincial police were also out on the roads on Friday and responded to multiple crashes involving motorcycles near Port Dover including one fatal.

In 2021, there were two collisions on Highway 6 involving motorcycles believed to be heading to the rally. One of those was a motorcycle driver who was killed in Hagersville. Police also responded to crashes in Paris, Norfolk County and Elgin County.

They told CTV News in 2021 that the majority of those collisions were not the fault of the motorcycle operators.

OPP have also released a video with safety reminders for motorcyclists.

Port Dover - Friday the 13th bike rally. If you are heading down, ride alert and be safe. Inps Shawn Johnson has some great advice for you. ���� #PD13 @MississaugaHD @OPP_WR pic.twitter.com/dHkk2gPzNk

— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) May 13, 2022