Toy run floods Hillsboro
The spirit of Christmas smelled a lot like burnt gasoline Saturday at the 28th annual Marion County Toy Run.
A total of 117 motorcycles and 21 antique cars rolled down N Main St. in Hillsboro to deliver toys and food pantry items to Hillsboro State Bank’s community tree.
Families tailgated in parking spaces to watch bikers clad in leather jackets cruise by. A few drivers threw candy, and others kept a hand on giant stuffed animals riding with them. Dozens of Santa hats flapped in the wind, and one fully costumed Santa waved from the back of an antique pickup truck. All the while, engines roared as loud as a reindeer stampede.
There were plenty of fresh faces to the traditional run.
“We’ve never done this before,” one biker from Hillsboro said. “But we decided last week to give it a try.”
Others have been looking forward to the run all year and even brought along the next generation — a few children and teenagers sitting just behind a parent or grandparent on a bike.
Many drivers brought multiple toys to Hillsboro State Bank, flooding a corner of the lobby designated for donations. The bank will split them evenly between community programs across the county.
After the run itself, American Legion in Hillsboro sponsored a chili feed and donation auction. More than a hundred participating bikers crowded into the building to get jalapeno- and cheese-topped chili.
Items donated for the auction included Harley Davidson memorabilia, yard art, snacks, toys, clocks, a bag of large dog food, a car battery, and liquor. The liquor went first, and bids climbed quickly.
Kim Abrahams, president of Classic Cruisers and an American Legion volunteer, said the show was a success in selling commemorative shirts and hoodies.
“We usually get 120 motorcycles,” he said. “It’s a pretty even turnout.”