ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The revving of motorcycle engines is a welcome sound to businesses across the Grand Strand.
Business owners said with the beautiful weather over the weekend, bikers came to town in droves, making it one of the biggest Spring Rally turnouts some have seen in almost a decade.
“It’s the first time in about 10 years that I can say that it was a very, very busy weekend," said Shalom Vavush, the owner of Sand Beachwear.
Bikers seem to agree.
“It’s been a couple of years since we’ve been here and this year seemed busier than usual. Just real busy. I mean it was shoulder-to-shoulder busy. You couldn’t hardly move," said biker Kenneth Davis Jr.
But with the close of Spring Rally comes preparations for Atlantic Beach Bikefest, which starts this week. The town’s police chief said they’re getting ready to put procedures in motion before thousands more arrive.
“We’re getting all our equipment in. Coordinating with SLED and Horry County. Making sure that all the plans we’ve put in place are still in place and make sure if we need to critique anything, we do it before Thursday comes," said Atlantic Beach Police Chief Quentin Robinson.
Robinson said they’re expecting large crowds for this year’s Bikefest. With the help of several agencies, he said they plan to have anywhere from 80 to 100 law enforcement officers on the ground at any given time.
“We’re not here to harass anybody. We want people to come here and have fun. We enjoy seeing the bikers, the residents, the people that have been coming here for years, we enjoy seeing them coming here and having fun. This is a safe environment, it has been for the last couple of years,” said Robinson.
Business owners are also looking forward to the next round of roaring engines.
“They come down here, they cause no problems, they spend money over here and that’s what we’re here for," said Vavush.
Robinson said there were 65 vendors during last year’s Bikefest, and this year they’re on track to surpass that number.