Organizers, vendors predict big turnout for upcoming Fall Bike Rally

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:53 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The roar of motorcycle engines will once again fill the air in the Grand Strand.

Organizers say the rally kicks off Monday, wrapping up on Oct. 3. It will be the first time the fall rally is being held since COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were lifted in South Carolina.

Some businesses are hoping things return to the bike rally norm.

Jen DeLuca, events coordinator for Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson, said the North Myrtle Beach location has set up hundreds of bikes in the hopes of selling them ahead of next week’s event.

She also said the process of preparing for this year’s event was much easier and smoother compared to last year.

At that time, planners had to comply with state COVID-19 guidelines, such as being required to receive final approval from the Department of Commerce before they could move forward.

But those requirements have long been lifted and organizers have to adhere to their normal protocols for special events.

Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson staff say they’re also predicting a large turnout for this year’s fall rally. Just two weeks ago, their annual 9/11 memorial ride was packed.

“We had over a thousand riders and about 2,000 people max at the ceremony so it was a ton of community support,” DeLuca said.

When asked how many bikers to expect this weekend, DeLuca responded with “thousands.”

“We did catch wind that a lot of the hotels are already sold out of again,” she said. “A lot of the campgrounds, full of bikers.”

Despite the large numbers, DeLuca said one possible concern is whether their current staffing numbers will meet the expected biker traffic.

“I think we’re a lot like the other businesses, we’re feeling it,” she said “We definitely could use some more hands. But we are prepared. Luckily we have a really great core staff that’s here year-round. We got it together, we just don’t know what to expect.”

Other businesses are also banking on a large turnout.

Damion Frazier, manager at Sand Beachwear in North Myrtle Beach, says his business has already been seeing more bikers this month. They’re now preparing to serve even more during the upcoming rally.

Frazier added that the store had hundreds of shirts made for customers to celebrate the rally.

“It’s very important to show the city is still thriving, still has reasons to celebrate and get together,” he said.

DeLuca wants people to remember Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson’s vendors will also be set up at their Myrtle Beach location.

Horry County says so far they’ve issued 38 vendor permits for this year’s fall rally, compared to 36 last year.

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