85
      Saturday
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      Sunday
      84 / 71
      Monday
      84 / 73

      Bike Fest kicks off in Atlantic Beach

      More bikers are back on the Grand Strand this weekend, but this time for the Atlantic Beach Bike Fest.

      North Myrtle Beach City Spokesman Pat Dowling says he expects as many as 300,000 bikers to pass through Atlantic Beach this weekend.

      With such a large number of bikers expected, you can expect to see an increase in law enforcement.

      "Largely, our focus is three fold. First, it's the traffic management. Second is crowd control, and third is quality of life, you know, noise issues," Dowling added.

      Hundreds of officers will be stationed along the Grand Strand, including more than 50 from other areas of South Carolina.

      Dowling says he has a positive outlook for this year's Bike Fest, especially because crime at the festival has dropped significantly in recent years.

      "The kinds of things we'll have to handle are people driving without their licenses, DUI, carrying open containers, you know, speeding," Dowling said.

      Along with an increase in law enforcement, the city also has a traffic chute running from 27th Avenue South to 30th Avenue South to decrease chances of crashes on the road.

      "What this allows people to do is those who want to get into Atlantic Beach to enjoy the festival there, take that route that's specific to them. Everybody else can go north or south towards whatever other destinations they have without gridlock," Dowling explained.

      This festival has had a reputation for attracting a younger, rowdier crowd than the Harley Bike Rally, but Dowling says as long as everyone cooperates with officers, it can still be a fun weekend for those who attend.

      This is Atlantic Beach's 33rd Memorial Day weekend Bike Fest.

      This year, Horry County issued 18 vendor permits. Last year, the county only issued five.