Wharf Rat Rally adds technology

Written by Laura Simmons  /  Published: Sunday, 19 July 2015

For Immediate Release

Wharf Rat Rally adds some new technology

(Digby, July 21, 2015) – Communications at the Wharf Rat Rally in Digby will step up a notch this year with the addition of a downloadable app for smart phones and SMS text messaging.

“One of the major comments we receive is that people miss out on shows and contests because they didn’t know they were about to happen. People who download our app will have a text message sent directly to their phones so they shouldn’t miss anything,” explains Co-Chair Guy Le Blanc.

The app will give the Wharf Rat Rally the capability to keep people up to date on all events, especially if changes are necessary because of weather or traffic patterns. It will also give the attendees updates on the value of the 50/50 draw: last year’s winner took home $26,308 and, with the Shriners’ help again, the Wharf Rat Rally hopes that will be even bigger again this year.

The intent of the Wharf Rat Rally Motorcycle Association is to use the messaging system principally during the Rally with updates at other times of the year given through social media channels, as in the past.

“The app is free to download by searching Wharf Rat Rally on the iTunes or Google Play stores, “ explains Le Blanc, “and for people who don’t have smart phones, the text messages can be received by texting ‘wharfrat’ to phone number 76000.” Unfortunately, visitors from outside of Canada can’t receive text messages directly; they must go through the app.

The 11th Annual Wharf Rat Rally runs in Digby from September 2nd to 6th.


Darren Williams Remembered

Written by Laura Simmons  /  Published: Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Wharf Rat Rally Hero Remembered

It was with heavy hearts that the board of directors of the Wharf Rat Rally learned of the passing of Darren "Willie" Williams on Saturday, June 20th near Hillier, Ontario.

Williams had been stationed at CFB Greenwood and was president of the 2nd Canadian Army Veterans Fortress Europe chapter when he became involved with the Wharf Rat Rally.

Board member Wayne MacDonald remembers how the relationship evolved. "I met Darren and the CAV members when I was President of the Legion in Annapolis Royal. He had arranged a ride for the CAV that spring, and they wanted to have the Legion as one of the stops. We saw it as an opportunity and decorated the bar and put on a spread for them. They kept coming back."

MacDonald helped connect the CAV chapter with a local motorcycle riding club, the 74th Crusaders and the CAV members camped on the 74th Crusaders' property during the Wharf Rat Rally that year, with some of the meals catered by the Legion. Darren Williams 3

With MacDonald also on the Rally's board, the natural progression took place with the CAV joining forces with the Wharf Rat Rally to provide guided tours to Brier Island. From there, the Rally offered vendor space on Admiral's Walk where Darren gathered names for the tours and tirelessly solicited support for the Rally and its chosen charity. One year, a sewing machine and operator were onsite, providing service to people who purchased patches for their vests - service while you waited!

In 2013, Williams approached the CAV national executive to use the Wharf Rat Rally as the starting point for its Annual National Ride. CAV members from coast to coast joined together - and invited all riders to join them - to ride from Conway to the Afghanistan Memorial in Hebron. This memorial lists the names of all the Canadians who lost their lives in Afghanistan during the involvement of Canada, and held a special place in Williams' heart as he had also served in Afghanistan. The monument was the realization of a dream of the local Boys and Girls Club and, together the local Legion, an outstanding commemorative service was held. Williams was a founding member of the Ride to the Afghanistan Memorial committee and was the liaison with the Wharf Rat Rally in the planning and implementation of the ride. Through the work and support that Williams had done with the Rally, he was asked to sit on the board of directors and became an active director in October of 2013, just a couple months before his career led him to Ontario.

Joe Pacquette, another of the founding members of the Ride to the Afghanistan Memorial, remembers Williams: "I know he would still be on the Wharf Rat Rally board of directors if he wasn't following his dream to be the best Loadmaster in the Canadian Air Force. He was also the proudest Dad and Grandfather I have ever seen and that says a lot."

A member of the 1st CAV Paardeburg Unit also lost his life and a third CAV member is in hospital. Three of the eight motorcycles on a ride as part of 1st CAV Gathering/Rally hosted by Afghanistan Unit @ CFB Trenton were struck by a car that crossed into the oncoming traffic. Williams was a member of the host chapter.

Darren Williams was a great supporter of the Wharf Rat Rally. He was instrumental in the growth and the excellence of the event. His boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm consumed everyone around him and provided the inspiration to excel. He will be missed.

The Wharf Rat Rally board of directors and staff send our condolences to his CAV family, his relatives and all who knew, respected and admired him. We were truly lucky to have been able to spend time with him.

Noel Facey and Guy LeBlanc, Co-chairs

The Wharf Rat Rally Motorcycle Association

Darren Williams on his bike












Wharf Rat Rally 2015 will be Rockin!

Written by Laura Simmons  /  Published: Sunday, 24 May 2015

Great music planned for this year

Drop by the bandstand area by the marina and the Builders' Square and enjoy a brewski and some great music. Watch the website stage schedule as more bands are added and the draft schedule for over-all events.

Free to enjoy!

2015 Bands Poster lo res

Wharf Rat Rally is going to Americade!

Written by Laura Simmons  /  Published: Thursday, 07 May 2015

Americade logo with background

For five days in June, the Wharf Rat Rally will be somewhere it's never been before - Americade in Lake George New York.

"We've attended motorcycle shows in Toronto and Montreal for the past several years, and this is a natural extension," explains Wharf Rat Rally Chairman Noel Facey. "We're seeing more and more motorcycles from the United States and we'd like that trend to continue."

Vice-chair Guy LeBlanc agrees. "I've been attending rallies in the United States for years and having the ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland available now makes the trip even more appealing."

The Wharf Rat Rally volunteers will be encouraging bikers to attend the 11th Annual rally being held September 2nd to 6th this year.


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Touring the Acadian Shore to Meteghan

Written by Laura Simmons  /  Published: Saturday, 04 July 2015

I headed out yesterday morning – a sunny, warm Nova Scotian day - and wandered off exit 28 of Highway 101 toward Meteghan.

The pride of the Acadian people was impressed upon me immediately from the finely manicured lawns and gardens to the multitude of Acadian flags flying at residences and businesses alike.

Read more ...

What Our Visitors Said

  • Helmets off to all those involved in organizing this event and to all the volunteers for their hard and dedicated work. It's people like you who make events like this such a huge success. Stewart P. Deveau
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