Toys for Tots Parade

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santa motorcycle
Santa Leads the Way

The annual Toys for Tots motorcycle parade got off to a rainy start on Sunday, December 2. A freezing rain storm the day before left the roads wet and slick, but rising temperatures helped keep them from freezing. No matter what the weather, the motorcycle riders turn out by the thousands to ride from the Dan Ryan Woods on 8300 south Western (the highest point in the city of Chicago created by the edge of the glacial Lake Chicago) to Foster 5600 north to deliver an unwrapped toy to the Toys for Tots drop off.

Toys for Tots collects toys each Christmas season to give to needy children, and the motorcycle parade certainly brings smiles to thousands of children.

At times, up to 30,000 motorcycles have participated in the parade, each with a gift and many decorated with garland and Santa Claus.

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thousands of motorcycles
Line of Motorcycles
Looking South
Western Avenue at 46th Street
Chicago, Illinois

This year, the warmer temperatures attracted hundreds of enthusiastic spectators along Western Avenue. Past years when the temperatures have were in the single digits, spectators were few or sitting by windows or in cars.

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parade train2
Santa Fe Railroad Float
Toys for Tots Parade


Eddie said...

Hi Tom!
I really enjoyed reading and viewing Your "Toys for Tots" parade feature on Your Blog.

I have a tremendous respect, for the many volunteers involved in this annual charity event, that benefits underprivelidged children.
It is a very nobel cause.

Being a railfan , I really enjoyed that Santa Fe locomotive float. That color scheme was introduced on Santa Fe's "New" diesel powered streamlined passenger trains, and was in use untill the start of Amtrak on May 1st 1971.

The Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad revived this color scheme on some of their road freight locmotives in 1989, and used it untill the BNSF Railway merger in 1995. Some of these red and silver former Santa Fe units, although now heavilly weathered, can be seen today on some BNSF Railway freight trains. But not for much longer.

Thank You.

Eddie said...

The red and silver color scheme was called the "Warbonnet Scheme" and was introduced during the late 1930's on the New diesel powered passenger trains like the Superchief and the El Capitain.

In 1972, a yellow and blue version of this was introduced on the freight locomotives, and was refered to as the Yellow Bonnet Scheme.

A handfull of the old EMD passenger service F-7 locomotives were painted in a Blue and Silver version of this Warbonnet scheme around 1971, and was refered to as the Blue Bonnet scheme. Some of the Blue Bonnet units were used on the early Amtrak trains, as well as on some retiired in freight service.

Thank You.

Watcher said...

Wow - that's one honkin' parade! Didn't realize it had gotten to that size.

Just a minor point - Foster is 5200 N, not 5600. 5600 is Bryn Mawr.

Keep up the good work!