We’ve just remembered all the things we are thankful for. We’ve shopped ‘til we dropped for Christmas gifts. Now let’s spare some thought and effort for those who have less. Every year the Salvation Army provides toys for children who would otherwise go without through its Toy ‘n Joy Shop. And every year motorcycle enthusiasts gather in Olympia for a ride to stock the shelves of the Toy ‘n Joy Shop.
Thousands of riders of all ages, skill levels, clubs come together to make children smile on Christmas morning. When you participate, in addition to the warm feeling you’ll get from donating happiness, you’ll enjoy the camaraderie of other riders and the lovely scenery and maybe you’ll even make some new friends.
This year, the date is coming fast. It’s this Saturday, December 1. You’ll assemble at South Sound Center in the Sears parking lot at 711 Sleater-Kinney Road SE in Lacey (exit 108 on the south side of I-5). The gates will open at 10 a.m. and the vendors will be ready for browsing and buying. Between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. you can watch performances by the Seattle Cossacks and the T90 Motorcycle Drill Team from Tenino. Then, at 1 p.m. the cavalcade, lead by Santa, heads out to Marathon Park.
Riders will take Pacific Avenue (merging into State Avenue) to Capitol Way, then 5th Avenue to Marathon Park on Deschutes Parkway in Olympia. Volunteers will be ready to show you where to park.
All riders and street-legal bikes are welcome. Bring an unwrapped toy or pay $10.00 for a single rider, $15.00 for a rider with a passenger. Please do NOT bring stuffed animals.
All riders must conform to state laws about street riding (especially regarding licensing, motorcycles, and helmets). The Washington Highway Patrol and Olympia Police help the ride—for example, side streets are closed off.
We ask that riders don’t promote other rides, activities, events, or organizations during the ride and related activities. Please do not try to sell any raffle tickets except official Olympia Toy Run Raffle Tickets. Yes, there will be a raffle, but the prizes remain secret at this time. Your toy or cash admission to the ride includes one raffle ticket, but you can buy more!
Remember that we don’t throw candy to children along the parade route anymore.
If you cannot get to the ride, you can drop off a toy (or a lot of toys) at any one of several locations listed here. You can also pledge a monetary donation using this form.
For more information and stories and photos about past years, check out the Olympia Toy Run’s Facebook page.
Share your memories of past toy runs with the Eagle Leather community on the Eagle Leather Facebook page, and let us all know about your experiences on the Olympia Toy Ride this year too.