For the better part of Sunday, the sound of motorcycles reverberated in downtown Wichita.
For more than two hours along Broadway, people cheered and waved in support of the Wichita Toy Run charity parade as more than 3,000 motorcycles growled from Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and followed Broadway north to the Kansas Coliseum.
"There were so many people, it was phenomenal," said Terisa Olson, an assistant coordinator of the event. "Usually, we have a good turnout, but nothing like this year. For the entire length of Broadway, there wasn't any open area without spectators."
For 31 years, Kansas bikers have gathered toys and other holiday donations for the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots and the Kansas Food Bank.
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In recent weeks, there was some doubt over which route the charity parade would take due to bridge construction; an alternate route initially prompted the city to say it couldn't provide police escorts because it didn't have the right to shut down intersections with state roads.
But late last week, Kansas Department of Transportation officials approved temporarily opening the bridge for the motorcyclists and closing it once the parade was completed. That allowed the police the authority to patrol the route to ensure safety and traffic flow.
"We were running out of time," said Holly Potelle, one of the organizers of the event. "There are so many people involved in this and it is a word-of-mouth event. I knew we would have it. My concern was, how safe was it going to be?"
On Sunday, Potelle said she was thrilled with the turnout.
"We are dividing a mountain of toys," she said. "I think our loading trucks will be popping at the gills."