Cities and towns prepare for Bikefest weekend

ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Atlantic Beach officials are preparing for the town's annual Bikefest weekend after meeting with law enforcement agencies across the Grand Strand in the hopes of having a safe and fun event.

Barriers and roadblock signs are being scattered among some areas, although not being completely utilized yet, as officials prepare for the busy weekend.

"Horry County police, we're working with SLED and just other small agencies that come down during Memorial Day weekend to work with us," said Atlantic Beach Police Chief Quentin Robinson.

According to Robinson, the agencies have all had overtime meetings to discuss plans and things to be on the lookout for.

"State, SLED, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach - we've had ongoing meetings in coordination with them so we're pretty much prepared and the three years that I've been here we've had an excellent coordinated effort with law enforcement," said Atlantic Beach Town Manager Benjamin Quattlebaum.

Robinson reminds everyone to take the usual precautionary steps to make sure they stay safe.

"If they don't have a booth set up, I wouldn't talk with them or give them any kind of money, credit card information," he said. "Make sure you lock your door. Make sure your valuables are put up in a safe place."

This year there will be free live entertainment, which is a change from last year when people had to pay.

Business owners are getting ready for Bikefest, too. Gabriel Shitrid, owner of The Waves Beach Show, said he just wants to make sure everyone feels welcome.

"We (are) going to have t-shirts for them, we're going to have special dresses they like, we're going to have accessories like goggles and riding gear," he said.

The one thing Shitrid said he's worried about is the barriers outside his storefront. He said he thinks they are put there for safety reasons, but he's worried that if they block the front entrance across from U.S. 17, his store won't be as easily accessible.

"If they close the entry to the parking lot it creates a lot of troubles because people cannot get through," he said.

Still, he remains optimistic.

"We hope they're going (to) come a lot and this city needs it. Every business in this city needs it," said Shitrid.

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