Atlantic Beach town leaders decide not to extend Bikefest hours to 4 a.m.

Atlantic Beach town leaders decide not to extend Bikefest hours to 4 a.m.

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The hours are set for Bikefest 2015. Bikefest committee members wanted to extend the event until 4 a.m. each night, but Atlantic Beach leaders made a final decision.

As part of the Bikefest ordinance adopted at Monday night's town council meeting, the event will be held May 22-25, 2015 and it will end at  2 a.m. each night.

Over the weekend, a Bikefest committee meeting was held in which some members suggested adding an extra hour to each Bikefest day, that would grant vendors and restaurants to stay open until 4 a.m., to ensure safety by keeping people from visiting other cities and towns.

But the idea was just that, as the council did not add that change to the Bikefest Ordinance, which was approved Monday night.

"That was a suggestion from other surrounding municipalities and the Governor. We want to be neighborly and we want do to what we can to help, and if it takes adjusting the curfew and hours of operation to make everybody else feel better, we're all for that, we want to make this year's Bikefest better," said Jake Evans, the mayor of Atlantic Beach.

A few town leaders feel the presence of more police officers in uniform will help make the event more safer. Atlantic Beach Chief of Police Timothy Taylor told WMBF in a previous report, he did not want the hours of operation extended until 4 a.m; he said he thought a lot of things could happen in that extra hour. Taylor confirmed 20 SLED officers will be part of the law enforcement manpower that weekend, and he is working to confirm more officers.

Bikefest organizers are anticipating more people attending the event this year, and the mayor said they want to ensure that everyone is safe and mindful of laws.

"We welcome anybody who wants to come to the Grand Strand, but we also ask that they be kind to our neighbors, be respectful,  be respectful of the laws that we have in place along the Grand Strand, and enjoy themselves and enjoy the Grand Strand," Evans said.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, the town leaders hosted the South Carolina Tourism Commission, Evans said, adding that the meeting was not about Bikefest. The town is looking to revitalize the area and he said he believes the commission will be a vital part in those efforts.

"Definitely wanting to do some type of development; it's much needed and long overdue and they are trying to help us with that aspect," Evans explained.

The police chief said he is still working to finalize the number of officers that will be present for Bikefest, he said he should know that number within the next few weeks.

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