BLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) — Thousands of motorcyclists hit the road on Saturday to honor those who serve our country and our communities.

A military helicopter flew over the Anoka County Airport in Blaine Saturday morning to kick off the “Patriot Ride.” It celebrates the service and sacrifices of Minnesota’s military, veterans and law enforcement officers.

It also raises money for non-profits that work with those groups and their families. About 5,000 motorcycles took part in the 70-mile ride through the north metro. This was the 13th year for the event.