Imagine if Santa wore leather and had reindeer named Harley and Davidson — that’s the annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade.
After being sidelined in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the parade will come roaring back on Sunday.
Thousands of bikers, decked in festive holiday gear and loaded with toys, are expected to gather at the traditional starting point in Dan Ryan Woods, 87th Street and Western Avenue. They’ll set out at 9:30 a.m. and head north on Western.
The parade route ends near Western and Addison Street, at the campus of Lane Tech College Prep High School.
Now in its 44th year, the event is billed by organizers as the world's largest motorcycle parade. In peak years, the ride has drawn 70,000 participants, organizers said, a far cry from its founding in 1978 when Ed Wisniewski and a couple of pals made the inaugural run.
Most importantly, riders collect thousands of toys for children in need in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. This year, Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, is expected to welcome riders and mark the return of this annual holiday tradition.