Thousands of bikers at Digby's Wharf Rat Rally
Far more visitors than residents at annual bike event
Thousands of bikers arrived in Digby this weekend for the eighth annual Wharf Rat Rally, Atlantic Canada's largest motorcycle rally. Organizers said more than 20,000 bikes are expected from all over the world.
Glenn Dunn, chairman of the Wharf Rat Rally Motorcycle Association, said the town's population grows tenfold at the peak of the 5 day event, which runs until Sunday.
Dunn also said that with so many people in a small town at one time, the bikers are resourceful at finding a place to stay.
"Of course right now you have to book a year in advance essentially, and every year there are more tenters and campsites available," Dunn said.
"People stay as far as Middleton, 50 miles away, Yarmouth 60 miles away, anything with an hour, hour-and-a-half ride, is a good ride in the morning to wake up," he said.
Dunn said this year visitors have come from as far away as China to take in the rally.
Last year, the event attracted about 60,000 visitors, generating nearly $9 million in economic activity, according to organizers. The first-prize winner was Frank Brown of Sandy Cove, N.S.
Several local governments support the event, including the provincial government, the Town of Digby, the Municipality of Digby, the Town of Annapolis Royal and the District of Clare.
In 2010 the event was well attended despite hurricane warnings.