The low rumble of motorcycles could be heard throughout much of downtown Anacortes Sunday, though not nearly in the same volume as a typical fourth Sunday in September.
This year, like most other events, the Oyster Run was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That didn’t stop bikers from driving into town, checking out bikes parked along the street and eating at one of the few restaurants open in town. But the city didn’t block off part of Commercial Avenue, which meant the bikers didn’t get to line their bikes up and down the street as in years past.
The weekend was relatively quiet, Anacortes Police Department Community Resource Officer Karl Wolfswinkel said in an email. Several bikes came to town, but they mostly drove through and left, he wrote.
Police responded to one report of a vehicle and a motorcycle colliding, but could not find evidence of the collision, he said.
Though the Oyster Run event was canceled in mid-May, several bikers posted on Facebook in recent weeks that they planned to make the trip to Anacortes anyway.
Several bars announced last week they would close on Sunday in anticipation of riders coming to town during the pandemic.
Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewery planned to stay open. Co-owner Allen Rhoades said on Friday the restaurant had put new protocols in place, such as moving the hostess station to the front door to help reduce congregating in groups.
He said customers would be told of the rules, such as wearing a mask when not seated at their tables, and no more than five at a table.
“We’ll be doing all the things we would normally do to comply,” Rhoades said on Friday. “This is the way we’ve been operating all summer.”
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Ahead of the weekend, Wolfswinkel said the police had also heard the bikers may be coming to town, but they didn’t assign extra officers to work Sunday, outside of already planned enforcement.
To prepare for the weekend, police officials called around to area hotels to see if they expected an influx of people. Everyone who is normally full this weekend said their numbers were much lower than normal, Wolfswinkel said.
“Usually the hotels and motels are at 100% capacity,” he said Thursday, Sept. 24. “From what we’re hearing, they are at 50% or lower.”