Santa Claus will be riding into town early this year, not on a sleigh or even on a fire truck. No, this jolly fellow will be riding astride a motorcycle at the head of a pack of as many as 1,000 bikers participating in the 34rd Annual Motorcycle Gift Run.
Billed as the oldest toy run in the state, in recent years more than 1,000 motorcyclists have joined the ride through Waterford bearing gifts for children and adults with developmental disabilities served by the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services in Southeastern Connecticut and Camp Harkness.
The ride begins at the Waterford Speedbowl at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 3. From there, motorcyclists will travel south on Route 85, south on Cross Road, east on Route 1, and then south on Route 213 to their final destination at Camp Harkness in Waterford.
The ride ends at about 2 p.m. Waterford Police Department is advising motorists to expect some traffic delays before and during the one-hour parade of motorcycles on Sunday.
Spectators are encouraged to cheer the motorcyclists on as they travel down Route 85, to Cross Road, to Route 1, to Avery Lane, to Great Neck Road, past Harkness Memorial Park, and finally to Camp Harkness in Waterford. Police will be on hand to provide traffic control.
If you'd like to show your support for the cause, Stash's Cafe on Pequot Avenue in New London will be offering an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with donations going to benefit the Department of Developmental Services in Southeastern Connecticut. All riders are welcome to join the gift run.