Friday, September 4, 2009

Wharf Rats in Annapolis Royal

Ok, even I have trouble putting a heritage spin on this one. Although I usually try to have some sort of heritage angle, no matter how hard I try it just isn't coming to me. Perhaps this is a post which can exist just for the sake of documenting something in our region. Perhaps this is documenting future heritage.

All day long I have heard the rumble of engines as motorcycles make their way down the streets of Annapolis Royal. As I sit at my computer writing this, I can hear a bike (or group of bikes) drive by about every two minutes. When the wind is blowing the right way I can also heard bikes heading down the Granville Road across the water in Granville Ferry. These are the unmistakable sounds of the Wharf Rat Rally.

Those of you not familiar with the motorcycle scene may not know about this rapidly growing event. For the past few years our neighbouring community of Digby has hosted an event known as the Wharf Rat Rally. From humble beginnings this event has quickly grown into a staple for both the motorcycle world and the local economy. While there is some variance in the predictions I have heard that there will be upwards to 20 000 motorcycles and 80 000 people visiting Digby for the rally this year. These are phenomenal numbers for any sort of event. To the credit of the participants and the organizers, this has always been a very peaceful and positive event.

Since motorcycles by their nature are made to be driven, many of the participants in the Wharf Rat Rally have made their way into Annapolis Royal over the past few days. There is even a parade of lights planned for 9:00 this evening (Friday). To get in the spirit of things, maybe next year we can organize an event for some of the older or antique motorcycles to be shown in Annapolis Royal.

All for now,

1 comment:

  1. My parents and I were on the Trans Canada on Friday (driving me up to Guelph for school) and we passed so many motorcycles on the road. We suspected almost all were headed to Digby. I agree with you that the Wharf Rat Rally will some day be an interesting part of the local heritage!

    Tourism/highway historian that I am, I'm racking my brain trying to think of a connection to NS history/heritage. I'm drawing a blank, although I can tell you that in 1922, the first year of motorcycle registration in the province, 145 bikes were registered. By 1940 there were 468 registered motorcycles, but 45,000 personal vehicles - so a mere drop in the bucket!