MARION COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Marion officials and mayors throughout the county provided help for Biker Bash this year, after last year's attempt was canceled due to technical issues. Bikers and community members attended a kick-off celebration Thursday evening, hoping to make Marion County their new home.
"Things don't always work out the way you want them to." said head event coordinator, Candace Whitesell.
Whitesell has been a part of the biker community most of her life and has been organizing events for many years. She says last year would have been the first Biker Bash to take place in Marion County, at the Swamp Fox Entertainment Complex. However, after several technical issues put the event on hold, the inaugural event is finally happening.
"It is a music festival. However, we will also have 32 vendors that have contracted and are here to sell you everything from produce to patches and leather, motorcycle repair. It's just...it's a rally."
That rally will also coincide with Myrtle Beach Bike Week, an event Whitesell says she is happy to move away from.
"Entities in Myrtle Beach decided that they really wanted to put restrictions on that would make us maybe not want to be there. They changed the laws."
Although this Biker Bash is listed on the official Myrtle Beach Bike Week website, Whitesell says those new laws have left some bikers feeling unwelcome or without a home - a home they may now find in Marion County.
"We're very proud of this venue and very proud of this event, and I think the cities of Marion, Mullins, Sellers, and Nichols and the county of Marion, we're behind it 100 percent," said Mullins Mayor Bo McMillan.
Whitesell says county officials have been very supportive of bringing bikers inland, even providing generators and other amenities free of charge. Mayor McMillan says the Biker Bash will be a new stream of revenue for the county, and hopes to bring the event back every year.
"It's in our best interest to work with them and to help them and to make sure that this thing grows and goes," McMillan said.
The Biker Bash kicks off Friday and will be a 10-day event, providing food, music, and camping at Swamp Fox Entertainment Complex, through the May the 22nd.