Bikefest 2015 promotions underway

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - There's a handful of promoters, mostly from Washington D.C. trying to keep the festival alive and they say, 2015 will be bigger and better than ever.

A documentary on the "Official Black Bike Week" web page details what event goers can expect, including: information on where to stay, what parties are like, where to park, and more.

The website's Facebook page has more than 200,000 "likes". A Washington D.C. promoter says plans for a beach party, drag-racing event at the Speedway and a talent show are all things he would like to add to next year's event.

"There's all kinds of things that we can do to make Bikefest larger, bigger, better, and it's already safe, says Joseph Waker, Jr.

Waker says things are safe, because nothing like the shootings that erupted in Myrtle Beach, that left three people dead happened in Atlantic Beach.

"That violence was going to happen, no matter where it was," says Waker. "It was just a clash of the titans, it was between those people and those people only. It had nothing to do with Bikefest, nothing to do with the bikers, it was a separate incident," he adds.

That's an argument for event supporters, and it's why the Mayor of Atlantic Beach says the 35-year-old tradition will not be canceled.

On Wednesday, city leaders met to discuss ways to deal with the massive crowds, the author of the Black Bike Week web site says the negative press won't affect next year's turn-out.  The author says organizers plan to discourage gangs from coming to town and that more police are needed.

As for Waker and his promotions, he says he's already in talks with investors for next year, but to stop the violence means dealing with a deeper-seated issue.

"In order for us to solidify and keep these kids from shooting and killing each other, they have to have something to look forward to," said Waker. "They do what they have to do in order to live, and death is a part of their lives, because for a lot of them it's preferred, because they don't have to worry about the next day."

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