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Roaring success

Fenwick Lion Bruce Bissell calls it the largest Biketoberfest ever.

He beamed as he estimated the crowd at 11,000 to 12,000, coming and going Friday night and Saturday.

Hundreds of motorcycles lined the long driveway into Fenwick’s Centennial Park and filled playing fields beyond the park’s concession area.

The Show ‘n’ Shine competition of 125 bikes glistened under a bright sun. Visitors roamed among the bikes ticking off candidates for prizes on score cards.

Jim Racz of Niagara Falls displayed his 2013 Cleveland Heist motorcycle.

A Biketoberfest regular, he said, he was a road construction casualty breaking his bike on Highway 20.

With the help of friends he fixed it, said the long-time rider.

Biketoberfest organizers worked hard to warn motorcyclists, who came from across southern Ontario and neighbouring American states, to avoid construction in downtown Fenwick and around the town.

They directed riders down Foss Road rather than Canboro Road.

Construction led to a re-routing of the Friday evening Ride of the Flags. The popular spectacle drew more than 250 motorcycles down Haist Street and Foss Road. The evening included a fish fry, music and vendors in Centennial Park.

A bright, sunny Saturday filled the road from Chippawa with 141 motorcycles in the annual Dice Run, said Rosaire Tisdale of Niagara Harley-Davidson Owners Group (HOG).

Monika Lakatos won the toss and a Harley-Davidson clock with an almost perfect 34 roll.

For Vera Iwanowich of Waterford Saturday was her first visit to Biketoberfest. It was a pleasant surprise.

“I’ve been to Fenwick many times before but didn’t realize this was held here,” she said.

“I go to Port Dover often,” for Friday the 13th. It is just down the road from Waterford, said the rider of a 1997 Harley Davidson Springer Top Dale.

For Les Toszmik of Fonthill, the day was a family outing as his young son Braiden rode on the back of his bike.

Bissell said Biketoberfest, which included proceeds from a draw for 2014 Harley-Davidson CVO Road King motorcycle as well as beer tent, food concessions and vendor, could clear more than $40,000 for the Fenwick Lions Club.

The major fundraiser finances Fenwick Lions programs, its diabetes related charities including a guide dog service and Lions International projects.

For the first time in a while a Fenwick resident, Randy Beres won the motorcycle. Don McCormack picked up the $1,000 second prize and Jeff Durst $500 third prize.

Since it began 12 years ago, Biketoberfest has raised $670,000 not counting this year.

It was originally held in October but moved ahead in a search for better weather. This year it paid off after a couple of years of rain.

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