ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There is one week until the start of the Atlantic Beach Bikefest and Cultural Festival and crews are busy prepping for the activities scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.
Event organizers say pre-ticket sales are up and they anticipate a large crowd. Tony Marcus, CEO of Marcus Media, said he has been promoting Bikefest events at places in Myrtle Beach for 11 years and this is the first year he is hosting the event in Atlantic Beach.
"It meant a lot to bring it back to this area, to create that excitement. So it's not just driving around on your bike; we've giving something for everyone to enjoy," Marcus said. "We're having daytime activities and nighttime activities."
Marcus said they plan to host parties, live music and activities like dominoes and spades tournaments, and even a lip sync battle to keep visitors entertained. Everything starts with a "Ruff Ryders Welcome to Atlantic Beach" party on Thursday, May 25.
Several tents were set up on Friday to cover a 30,000-square-foot area of what is being called the Paradise Party Compound.
Marcus said the area will hold approximately 2,000 visitors and safety is a concern.
"That is the first objective, our main objective, to make sure everyone is safe," Marcus said. "We'll have metal detectors, we'll have pat-downs. We have enough security inside and outside to cover the event."
According to Atlantic Beach Police Chief Tim Taylor, with more people anticipated to join in this year's festivities, parking is a concern.
He said there are several areas in the town that will be designated for parking. The chief encouraged those visiting to watch for those who will be directing traffic.
Areas on 30th Avenue South and Seaview Street are assigned for parking, as is the area of 31st Avenue South and South Ocean Boulevard.
Meanwhile, Taylor said he's also focusing on having a team of officers from South Carolina Highway Patrol, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division and Atlantic Beach working Memorial Day weekend.
"I will have at least 100 officers in Atlantic Beach and throughout the area," Taylor said.
He added that concerts and entertainment have not been done while he's been the chief of police for the past three years, and it's a new experience for him and the town.
"We're trying to draw a crowd here in Atlantic Beach so they can enjoy being here," he said.