Toys for Tots Chicago parade kicked off just after 9 a.m.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- An annual holiday tradition roared back Sunday, with the annual Toys for Tots motorcycle parade.
The event featured a caravan of motorcyclists delivering thousands of toys for distribution to children in need this holiday season.
"Kids come first. We want to make sure everyone has Christmas. No matter if you can afford it or not," said Matthew McCarty, who was riding in the parade.
Temperatures were in the 20s Sunday morning, but the cold weather wasn't stopping the 45th annual Toys for Tots motorcycle parade near the Dan Ryan Woods.
"You're bringing people together. There's all races, all creeds, there's everything out here, you know?" Vincent Perfetto said.
The parade launched just after 9 a.m., and thousands of riders hit the streets of Chicago with toys strapped to their bikes.
Even Santa was in attendance Sunday, saying the parade is setting impressive records through its generosity.
"From that first ride, which was seven motorcycles and three vans, to now, being in the Guinness Book of World Records, it is, as of last year, this ride was responsible for 51,000 children receiving a toy," Santa said.
The line of bikers stretched well around the Dan Ryan Woods Sunday morning.
Thousands participate from all across the Midwest in this parade every single year. Many of them have been doing it for decades, which highlights just how important this parade is to this community.
"We're all like brothers and sisters here," Kankakee resident Louis Torres said.
Torres has been riding in this parade for well over two decades, and said it's the spirit of the season that keeps him warm on a frigid morning.
"I'll tell you what, when the bikes all start up, you hear the fire truck hit -- the energy in this park, you can hear it roaring," Torres said.
These toys went to children in need in the city and surrounding suburbs.
This year's parade also featured Cook County Commissioner Frank Aguilar.
The parade is open to riders from anywhere, but they must ride with at least one new unwrapped toy.
Making Christmas possible for thousands of children each year is a year-long process that requires lots of volunteers.
Organizers also claim this is the largest motorcycle parade in the world.