As a resident of Myrtle Beach and a frequent visitor to the boardwalk and Ocean Boulevard, I am appalled by the recent (and yearly) behavior of the participants of “Bikefest”. After seeing first hand the indecency (in some cases stark nudity), the profanity, the trash, the reckless driving behavior and the general disregard for our community, I am left to wonder how Myrtle Beach allows this to happen every year and especially at such a crucial time of the year as Memorial Day week.
Several letters have appeared in the Sun News from first-time visitors who are so disgusted with this event that they vow never to return to Myrtle Beach. I have seen personally the looks on many faces of families who have come to our city during this week, obviously without being told by the hotels that this is “Bikefest” week, who are stunned to see the behavior of this group on Ocean Boulevard. I'm sure it is difficult to explain the situation to their children.
It seems to me that Myrtle Beach needs to step up and at the very least, insist that this event be changed to a less busy and vital time - perhaps March or April when tourism has not yet kicked into high gear. Since it is my understanding that Atlantic Beach, which “sponsors” this event but contributes little or nothing to the increased police/fire/ambulance services that are required to handle this group, needs to be told when the event can be held.
Myrtle Beach should not be required to abide by the dates that Atlantic Beach has chosen. He who pays the bill should dictate the terms. Memorial Day week needs to return to a fitting tribute to our military veterans and a festive kick off of the summer tourism season in the lovely place we call the Grand Strand.
Editor’s note: Because we have already published several letters reflecting similar concerns and suggestions about the annual Bikefest event, this is the last letter on the subject that we will publish in order to make room for views other issues.