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Attendance light as only 75,000 check out Friday the 13th in Port Dover: OPP

ABOVE: Police in Port Dover say attendance for the famous biker showcase, which goes everytime there is a Friday the 13th, was noticeably thin compared to recent of outings.

The early fall edition of Port Dover’s famous biker showcase was noticeably more thin on Friday than previous incarnations of the traditional event.

OPP Const. Ed Sanchuck revealed that Friday the 13th in Port Dover was “uneventful” from a policing standpoint, with only an estimated 75,000 taking part in the gathering.

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The last event, in July 2018, drew close to 140,000 according to OPP, who increased their presence in anticipation of eclipsing that number.

READ MORE: Friday the 13th draws massive crowd to Port Dover

The potential for one of the largest crowds had the OPP going as far as alerting would-be attendees that they would have “a heavy focus on traffic flow and direction throughout the event.”

Police say about 75,000 descended on the small community of Port Dover for Friday the 13th festivities.
Police say about 75,000 descended on the small community of Port Dover for Friday the 13th festivities. Don Mitchell / Global News
A number of street merchants offered Friday the 13th branded apparel during the Sept. 2019 event.
A number of street merchants offered Friday the 13th branded apparel during the Sept. 2019 event. Don Mitchell / Global News
A street merchant offering a variety of leather goods during the Friday the 13th event in Port Dover.
A street merchant offering a variety of leather goods during the Friday the 13th event in Port Dover. Don Mitchell / Global News
OPP say over 10,000 motorbikes descended on Port Dover for Friday the 13th in September.
OPP say over 10,000 motorbikes descended on Port Dover for Friday the 13th in September. Don Mitchell / Global News
OPP  say over 10,000 motorbikes descended on Port Dover for Friday the 13th in September.
OPP say over 10,000 motorbikes descended on Port Dover for Friday the 13th in September. Don Mitchell / Global News
The Sept. 2019 version of Friday the 13th in Port Dover drew many unique cycles to the event.
The Sept. 2019 version of Friday the 13th in Port Dover drew many unique cycles to the event. Don Mitchell / Global News
The Sept. 2019 edition of Friday the 13th in Port Dover drew a number of stateside visitors.
The Sept. 2019 edition of Friday the 13th in Port Dover drew a number of stateside visitors. Don Mitchell / Global News

Police also put pressure on visitors to refrain from purchasing merchandise “supporting known organized crime groups.”

OPP claimed that profits from such merchandise directly supports illegal activities, including fraud, drug and human trafficking, extortion and money laundering, in addition to putting a would-be buyer at risk from rival group members.

READ MORE: Fired OPP deputy commissioner launches wrongful dismissal suit against Ford government

“Although Friday the 13th attracts mostly law-abiding motorcycle enthusiasts, we continue to see the presence of those who live and promote a lifestyle outside of the law,” said Brad Nunn, an investigator from the investigation and support bureau.

The tradition of motorcycle enthusiasts converging on the Lake Erie community each Friday the 13th dates back to 1981.

That year, a Port Dover motorcycle shop owner got together with friends, beginning the first version of what’s now become an institution in the tiny district of 6,000.

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— With files from the Canadian Press 

WATCH: (Aug. 4, 2018) Video shows van driving on crowded Port Dover beach

Video shows van driving on crowded Port Dover beach
Video shows van driving on crowded Port Dover beach
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