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Paying attention to current events can make a person feel as though there’s so much misery in the world, that nothing can be done about any of it. Well, maybe we can’t save the world, but we can sure have an impact on our corner of it.
One of the best ways to have an impact is to give a child the joy of a gift at Christmas time. This is the 38th year that the Olympia Toy Run will bring motorcycle enthusiasts together just for that. The entry fee for the ride is an unopened child’s toy (but no stuffed animals, please), or a monetary donation (for those of us who don’t like to shop). All the toys and money are donated to the Salvation Army for its Toys ‘n’ Joy Shop.
Whether you’re a diehard enthusiast or a weekend warrior, no matter what colors or badges you wear, on this run we all have one purpose: helping the kids. Join the ride: four abreast on streets closed to anyone but us riders, every bike with toys strapped on, passing thousands of people cheering us on.
It’s a day of sisterhood and brotherhood; a day to show our truest colors: the color of a smile on the face of a child. And it’s a heckuva lot of fun.
All it takes is a new, unwrapped toy or a donation of ten dollars for one, fifteen dollars for a rider and passenger.
The day begins at 10 a.m. at South Sound Center when the gates open and vendors open their stalls. From 11:00 until 12:30, you can enjoy performances by the Seattle Cossacks and the Tenino Motorcycle Drill Team.
At 1:00 p.m., the parade to Marathon Park on Deschutes Parkway in Olympia begins at the Sears Parking Lot, 711 Sleater-Kinney Road SE in Lacey.
All riders and street-legal bikes are welcome, but riders must obey state laws about street riding (especially about licenses, motorcycles, and helmets). Participants may not throw candy while driving in the parade, nor promote other activities, events, and organizations. Only official Olympia Toy Run Raffle tickets may be sold.
If you can’t be at the ride, you can drop off toys or cash at the locations you find here: http://olytoyrun.com/#!/up