THE 72nd Friday the 13th Biker Day in Port Dover this week is likely to see only dozens of bikes parked along Main Street and not the hundreds or even thousands of bikes seen at summer events. Friday’s forecast has temperatures hovering around the freezing point with a possibility of scattered flurries or rain.
But there is very likely to be hundreds of bikers in town to celebrate the day. For many, travelling to Port Dover on Friday the 13th to meet friends and renew old acquaintances is a long tradition.
For this mid-January event, there are no road closures and no detours on local streets that happen during “warm weather” biker days. Only the year-round no parking zones will be enforced.
There is no overnight camping being offered at either Silver Lake Park or Kinsmen Park.
There are no commercial vendors setting up in local parks.
Local bars and restaurants will be open and ready to welcome those who arrive and some local businesses are planning special promotions.
The Kinsmen Club of Port Dover’s official Friday the 13th Shirt will be available in the Elmer Lewis Parking Lot on Main Street starting at 9 a.m. on Friday with a limited quantities of T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirts and hoodies available. Kin member Darcy Anderson produced this year’s design.
The Brig at The Norfolk Tavern is planning to have live music on Friday.
Port Dover Legion has the Felicia McMinn Band performing on Thursday night from 7 to 11 p.m. with a $5 cover for non-members and Reuben and Monte Cristo sandwiches available. On Friday, the Legion has Albatross playing from noon to 4 p.m. and The Atkinson Brothers from 4 to 7 p.m. with Peameal on a Bun from 9 a.m. until noon and fish and chips from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday.
Norfolk OPP and Norfolk EMS will be ready with more equipment or more staff available on an as-needed basis.
The Maple Leaf reached out on social media to ask bikers if they were planning to come to Port Dover for this mid-January Friday the 13th.
Casey Vokey of Thamesford says she is organizing a dinner for 30 lady riders and some spouses at Lviv Castle (formerly Southside Louie’s) in Port Dover on Friday.
Ms Vokey says the group is eating at 7 p.m. to “give everyone lots of time to drive down and shop the wonderful stores that so desperately rely on us to survive the winter months. This would be a great bonus for these shops, especially after two years of Covid most of the stores and restaurants are still struggling to recover.”
Like many riders, Ms Vokey says she will be looking for “Port Dover Friday the 13th” patches to go with her collection.
Tina and her husband Dennis Dedrick of Port Rowan say they plan to “head down by car, catch up will ol’ pals and stop by the bar.”
Elizabeth Kempt of Hagersville says “I will be coming to Dover on the 13th, regardless of the weather. I prefer to ride but will be coming by car because I’ll be having dinner later. I ride to Dover on the 13ths for the friendships, bands, vendors and, of course, the bikes! Anything bike related is fun, fun, fun!”
Jennifer Morris, of Beachville, says “Friday the 13th, for me, is always special since I got my bike licence. I love shopping for blingy t-shirts at The Fringe and Route 6 and spending quality time with the best of friends. The restaurants and entertainment is top notch. This year I’ll be coming in my car because we are meeting up later in evening for dinner and a band. Anytime I can ride my bike, I always will choose to ride. I love Port Dover and the patches and I love that I got married on a Friday the 13th!”
Dan Asselin of Simcoe says he has “booked the day off” and “it’ll depend on the roads whether it’s bike or car.”
Nicole Linn of Delhi says this year “will be by car and I think my biker ride-or-die hubby will be joining me in the car” adding “Erie Beach Hotel every Friday the 13th is a tradition for us.”
Roni Clark of Welland says she only comes to Friday the 13th on a bike. She says that she has already decided that “if the weather permits, I will ride in to see what is going on. I won’t ever come in a car… if that’s the case and a car has to be taken… I will just stay home! Friday the 13th is about bikes, so for me it’s the only way to travel for that event. I hope to meet up with a few friends along the way and in Port Dover. The only thing I am shopping for is a good cup of coffee and another patch for my vest.”
The next Friday the 13th in Port Dover comes in October.