Spring rally vendor permits issued in Horry County lowest in nea - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Spring rally vendor permits issued in Horry County lowest in nearly 20 years

Jamin' Leather hosts vendors for the Spring Harley Rally. (Source: Amy Lipman) Jamin' Leather hosts vendors for the Spring Harley Rally. (Source: Amy Lipman)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Bikers continue to ride through the area for the Spring Harley Rally, but as for places for them to stop and shop, the number of vendors in Horry County this week is down.

The biggest year for spring rally vendors was 2002, when there were more than 500 permits issued. Horry County gave out only about 10 percent of that number this year at 51.

There were 79 vendor permits issued for the spring rally in 2016. The fee for a vendor permit in Horry County is $800, which has been the case since 2009.

Since then, the number of permits issued has trended downwards.That’s also around the time Myrtle Beach officials enacted a helmet law, which was eventually overturned. During that period, the country was also in the midst of a recession.

Limits on the number of permits issued for certain areas in the county started in 2003.

This year’s event has the lowest number of vendor permits in Horry County since 1999, but the owner of Jamin’ Leather said he still thinks attendance numbers are going up.

“I see a lot more interest in the rally as far as participation, people coming in,” said Jamin’ Jamie Keats. “There may not be as many vendors as there is in previous years, but it is still doing very well. I think the attention to the rally is a little more prominent than years prior.”

Members of a new local biker club, The Advocates, are spending their first spring rally as a group at Jamin’ Leather. They’re doing a raffle to raise money for Help4Kids.

“We don’t want any kid to go home hungry,” said Kris Armstrong, founder of The Advocates.

However, Armstrong said he’s also hoping the rally will help the club find out who else in the community needs help.

“We’re going to have The Advocates' to-do list,” he said. “We’re hoping through this bike week and this event through the rest of the weekend, we have people in the area who have somebody they know who needs help. Whether it be someone who can’t take care of their house, someone needs a roof, a paint job. Basic daily things that people can’t do, we’re going to be there to help them out and do that.”

The members also serve the community on a daily basis in their jobs, as most are medical professionals and first responders.

“I have a strong belief in patient care,” said Armstrong, who previously worked as a paramedic and is now a nurse. “Being an advocate for people in general and their well-being, that’s kind of what helped promote this whole club. Everybody has the same idea.”

The club requires a CPR certification to join, but people from other career fields are welcome.

“We can actually do some good when we ride,” said Brandon Chrysler, a member. “Promote local charity; we all came together for that purpose.”

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