KEY WEST (CBS4)– Motorcyclists from throughout the United States are in Key West this weekend, after traversing the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, to raise money for charity during the 39th annual Key West Poker Run.
Traditionally drawing riders on up to 10,000 bikers, the popular trip features the route down the 126-mile highway that connects the Keys to the South Florida mainland. The road incorporates 42 bridges spanning waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and Gulf of Mexico.
Participating bikers received poker sheets when they registered and drew cards at designated stops along the route through the island chain. Entrants who drew the 10 best poker hands are eligible to play in a winner-take-all round of Texas Hold ‘Em late Saturday night, competing for a new Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycle.
A section of lower Duval Street, Key West’s famed main thoroughfare, is closed to car traffic during much of the Poker Run for bike displays.
Other attractions include a bike merchandise market, “Biker Bash” street party, custom bike show and parties at Key West resorts and watering holes.
The Poker Run is a fundraiser for the Diabetes Research Institute and charities of the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.
Events are to conclude Sunday with a brunch and “survivors’ party.”
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Andy Newman of the Florida Keys News Bureau contributed material for this report)