A Different World

Atlantic Beach is not responsible for Myrtle Beach

There are many angles to discuss when it comes to the most recent Atlantic Beach Memorial Day Bikefest.

Here’s one: A gaggle of Grand Strand residents flooded a Myrtle Beach City Council meeting after Bikefest ended a weekend that included multiple reported shootings, including three deaths. That was in addition to the usual chaotic, noisy scene that comes with every major summer weekend as well as a large crowd essentially shutting down a part of Kings Highway to have a street party.

Those happenings, among others, have people calling for the end of the event, including Gov. Nikki Haley. The Atlantic Beach town council has said it won’t cancel Bikefest next year because it remains one of the town’s biggest revenue-producing weekends. And why should it?

The town said it had no problems, felt the event in its four blocks was well organized, and the shootings (involving young people from the Charleston area) occurred in Myrtle Beach – not Atlantic Beach.

The town has had its share of well-documented problems for decades now, and plenty of those problems remain. But if it has a handle on the part of Bikefest it can control, why should it also be responsible for what goes on in Myrtle Beach?

A lot of residents don’t understand that the bulk of people who come during Bikefest are not here for that event or Atlantic Beach. Many of them don’t even know where the four-block town is. They come for the big street-party atmosphere in Myrtle Beach and spend all of their time there, particularly in or around Ocean Boulevard. Atlantic Beach officials cannot and should not be responsible for what happens there.