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The 31st Annual Chicagoland Toys for Tots Parade will be Sunday on December 7th 2008.

This Motorcycle Parade has become an annual holiday tradition in Chicago. The weather once again will determine how successful we are that day to assist the USMC 61st annual Toys for Tots program. Depending upon the weather there can be thousands of motorcyclists preceding north bound on Western Avenue to Foster Avenue and Troy.

Simple rules and protocol for parade day.
Only street legal motorcycles licensed and all riders insured accordingly. Note: Only street legal motorcycles, no ATV's or Quad Runners. We have had up to 40,000 motorcycles delivering toys to the USMC 2nd Battalion 24th Marine Division .We need your help to proceed safely thru the City of Chicago on parade day

Line up starts at 6:00 am at Dan Ryan Woods located at 83RD & Western Avenue. Parade start is tentatively at 9:30 am from the woods. If there is a large turnout it can start as early as 9:00 am and may last up to five hours. We generally try to depart as close as 9:30 am but depending upon the turnout we can leave earlier when traffic is not as intense throughout Chicago. Do not wait until the last minute to leave your house and tailgate into the end of the parade. Once the parade starts do not pull into the parade sections while they move northbound. We can only patrol those that line up at Dan Ryan Woods. Logistically, the timing and patrolling to accommodate the CTA and other City Services is based upon those lining up at the woods. We cannot gauge the sizing of the parade sections if motorcycle groups intercede along the route. It is also unsafe. So again arrive early and start at the woods. Between each section we will have an interval to allow for cross traffic. These breaks or intervals can be anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes before another section departs from the Woods. There can be up to five sections. This gives the CTA and the City the time needed to avoid traffic tie-ups that can gridlock the neighborhoods we pass through.

Note: On the day of the parade when you see thousands of balloons disbursed in honor of our POW'S and MIA'S, it also means the first section is schedule to depart from the woods. So please proceed to make sure you are near your bike. Our volunteers will start movement in the woods in a circular fashion for parade positioning of each section. This allows us to bring more bikes in off Western Avenue. So we need you by your bikes after the balloon send off. Please respect any and all directive orders from our Toys for Tots volunteers. They all will be wearing safety vests that identify them as parade workers. They are in communication with others to make this parade safe and as fun as possible to assist the massive delivery of toys, via our motorcycles to the USMC Marine Corps that day.

For those who will not be riding in the parade but wish to drop of a toy on the day of the parade, there will be express toy drops set up at the beginning and end of the parade. The drop off at the start will be on 87th street just east of Western. The drop off at the end will be at the entrance to the Marine Reserve Center. If you do not plan to participate that day via your motorcycle, please re-route to avoid traffic delays. If you plan to come and see Santa and his elves lead the Parade on their White Harley's please do so. Bring the kids and cheer on the motorcycle riders by patriotically waving American and Military flags along the route. Do not forget once the first section comes by there can be up to four sections to follow. A Chicago Police squad and a military vehicle and or fire trucks will lead each section and a military vehicle usually ends each section. So be patient that day and be understanding. Again the parade can last up to five hours, so cheered them on for helping kids in need.

What to do at the end

After you enter the Marine Reserves off Foster Avenue, you have a choice of parking, express toy drop off or exit. If you are planning on parking (Recommended), stay to the right and follow the Toys for Tots flaggers into the designated parking areas. If you don't want to park, stay to the left. This will bring you to the express toy drop and exit. If you are exiting, stay to the right as you approach the exit/toy drop. You will be exiting onto Kedzie Avenue and you can go north (right) or south (left).

Enjoy the parade

We want to be safe in our mission to make sure: Every Needy Child has a Brand New Toy at Christmas.

Additional information:

For additional official for toy drop off locations and more information about the Motorcycle Parade Toys for Tots program. Visit our web site at: or contact our Hot Line at: 773-866-TOYS.

Lastly any remaining Toys for Tots 31st anniversary product left after the parade will be available at the Westfield Mall same location on 12/20 and 12/21.... for your last minute Toys for Tots shopping needs.

Thank you for your patience and understanding for this our 31st Anniversary December 7,2008.
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