Motorcyclists and car enthusiasts from eight different states and Montreal, Canada, will be coming to Farmington this weekend as part of the annual Dream Ride event. Dream Ride, which began in 2001, works in cooperation with the Hometown Foundation to raise money for the Special Olympics.
Dream Ride seeks to bring together motorcycle and car enthusiasts to bring much needed awareness and support to individuals living with intellectual disabilities.
"We are ecstatic to be back in Farmington," said event organizer Chrissa Caramia. She offered a special thank you to all the Farmington residents, patrons, sponsors and the local emergency personel who lend a helping hand to make the event a success.
Local riders will be making a scenic loop of 40 miles on Sunday through local towns including Collinsville, New Hartford, Canton, Simsbury and finally returning to Farmington. Satellite riders from New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Long Island and Pennsylvania will also arrive in Farmington. Thousands of cyclists are expected.
"It’s a chance for our community to get behind the Special Olympics in a special way," Courtney Hendricson, the town's economic development director, said.
"People have come out to support it and attend the event every year," Hendricson said. "The town feels really good about it — everyone genuinely works together well."
Dream Ride was canceled last year due to the effects of Hurricane Irene.
"The Farmington Club was 8 feet under water last year," Caramia said. "It was devastating to the community and to the athletes."
Amazingly, the organization still was able to bring in $220,000 for the Special Olympics even without the event ocurring. "This was $20,000 over the year before," she added, "with the event happening."
In addition to The Farmington Club, the ride will begin from satellite start locations in Branford (Brothers Harley-Davidson), Bristol (Yankee Harley-Davidson), Danbury (Danbury Harley-Davidson), East Hartford (Gengras Motorcycles), Ellington (TSI Harley-Davidson), Groton (Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson), Guilford (Guilford Police Department), and New Britain (Papa’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram).
This year Dream Ride will feature the exclusive North America viewing of the Ferrari 599xx Evolution Supercar and a guest appearance by the New England Patriots Cheerleaders, who are scheduled to appear at The Farmington Club from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Along with the traditional motorcycle ride, Dream Cruise 2012 will be presented by Papa’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to give car enthusiasts the opportunity to take part in the event.
Route 4 east bound will be closed from 12 noon to 1 p.m. between Route 179 in Burlington and Town Farm Road in Farmington. Route 4 westbound will be open from Town Farm Road to points west for through traffic and emergency vehicles.
Detours will be in place prior to the road closure. Primary detour routes will include: River Road, Meadow Road, Red Oak Road, and New Britain Avenue. Police officers will be stationed at major intersections to assist people with detour directions.
Between noon and 3 p.m. be alert to motorcycle traffic in town in the areas of:
Route 309 and Route 179 — West Simsbury to North Canton to Barkhamsted
Route 44 and Route 179 — New Hartford to Canton/Collinsville to Burlington
To register your car/bike for the event, it will cost $30; $20 for passengers or spectators. Sponsoring the event are: The Hometown Foundation, Bozzutos, Campus Customs, Crystal Farms, Steinger, Iscoe and Greene, Monster, Dasani, Trantolo & Trantolo, Aqua Turf, Farmington Club, and your local IGA Supermarket.
Many more details are provided on the event website, www.dreamride.org.