By Medicine Hat News on September 7, 2017.
This Saturday marks the 31st annual Santa Claus Fund Toy Run here in Medicine Hat. It is one of the largest charitable events annually in the city, bringing between 1,500 and 2,000 riders and spectators together to raise both toys and funds for the Medicine Hat News Santa Claus Fund. Each year the event is put on by an amazing group of motorcycle enthusiasts with the support of many local sponsors. If you have never ridden in or attended the Toy Run, I have put together a complete guide of what you can expect so you can get the most out of your day!
Things kick off at 9 a.m. in Irvine where the Irvine Hotel will put on a by-donation pancake breakfast. So if you’re planning to ride this year, head out early and get your fill. The street in front of the hotel will slowly fill with hundreds of motorcycles until it’s kickstands up at 11:30 a.m. and everyone will follow Santa and Mrs. Claus back into Medicine Hat.
If you don’t plan to ride and want to watch the parade as it rolls through town, your best bet is either to be on Dunmore Road somewhere between the Trans-Canada Highway turnoff (by the mall) and 21st Street S.E. or at the Stampede grounds. The route is shorter this year due to the construction down around Scholten Hill. You can find a map of the route on the Santa Claus Fund Facebook page.
Riders will arrive at the Stampede grounds sometime shortly after noon and will fill the area around Higdon Hall. If you have never seen all the bikes parked together it is quite the sight! The riders and all public will be welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Claus where you will be able to drop off any toys or cash donations you brought to donate.
There is lots to do on the grounds for everyone of any age. Outside there is a donation barbecue set up where you can get a burger, chips and a drink for a minimum $3 donation. Inside you will find door prizes for the riders as well as the silent auction plus raffles and 50/50 draw tickets. Out back there is both the show and shine and of course a beer garden. Hang out in the sun and listen to some of your favourite rock tunes while enjoying a cold one after a long, fun day of supporting a great event.
Let’s not forget about stuff for the kids. This is, after all, an event set up to support children and families in our community. Outside you’ll find a huge inflatable bounce course as well as a monster truck. Inside they’ll have a kids room set up complete with different games and activities.
The Santa Claus Fund believes that every child deserves to have a Merry Christmas and their goal is to ensure those less fortunate in our community experience the joy and warmth of the holiday season. The Toy Run’s goal is to help make that happen. It’s thanks to the generosity of the people in this community that the event is on its 31st year and has no plans of stopping anytime soon! We hope to see you this Saturday out in Irvine or down at Higdon Hall.
You can hear Amber evenings on 105.3 ROCK and 1053rock.ca. She’s also the station’s promotions director.
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