Atlantic Beach Bike Fest: Not a Family Affair
By: Jamarria Pyatt
The Atlantic Beach Bike fest a.k.a Black Bike Weekend is held every year in May. This year, it is being held May 27-30. This is a celebration of Memorial Day. Many black bikers come to Myrtle Beach to show off their bikes. All weekend people put flashy cars and motorcycles on display at the Atlantic Beach Strip and on Ocean Boulevard. For more than 20 years, black motorcyclists have been coming to Myrtle Beach for this Bike Fest. Each year the bike fest has become more dangerous, and police officers struggle to control the crime. An estimated 40,000 people will be in Myrtle Beach for the weekend. The Atlantic Beach bikefest is not kid friendly, and children should not attend this festival. There is nudity, obscene images, and large amount of inappropriate activity.
Businesses in the past have closed because of the violence and the behaviors of the bike weekend attendees. Restaurants have had many customers leave without paying the tabs and motels have been vandalized. Five years ago, the NAACP sued Myrtle Beach for discrimination of black bikers because certain restaurants would not allow the bikers to come in because they would come in large groups, and before the waitress would get back, they would leave without paying for their food. This upset many business owners and it cost business owners a substantial amount of money.
Most hotels and motels are booked months before the bike fest. The county is going to make traffic one lane to control traffic patterns, and stop accidents. Last year, there were 9 murders in Myrtle Beach during this particular bike weekend. This year additional officers are being sent to the beach to help protect the bike weekend attendees.
image credit: www.myrtlebeach.com