MURRELLS INLET — Harley-Davidson riders roared into South Strand for this year’s Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally.
Burnouts, dancing bartenders and plenty of beer were on deck as the event celebrated its 80th anniversary.
“It’s a big brotherhood. We’re all brothers and sisters,” said John Trapp, who rode from New Hampshire with his wife and friend for their third experience at the rally. “Everyone’s here for the same reason.”
Speakers blared “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country” by Florida Georgia Line Tuesday night at Suck Bang Blow, where Trapp recalled chatting with a neighbor from his hometown he’d never met before and looked over a photo showing a recent snowfall back home.
“I’m an alcohologist,” Rick Monroe said from the stage at the Murrells Inlet bar.
He encouraged the crowd to get hyped as he and the band performed with Halloween masks hanging from their microphone stands. Meanwhile, bikers maneuvered their Harleys through dancing crowd members as they searched for parking.
Not everyone attending the rally came from afar, as locals like Greg Blair watched the action while many attendees hollered and swayed with their drinks from the upper and bottom floors.
“Just the people and the atmosphere” is what’s kept the Conway resident coming back to the rally for five years now. He patted his gut, joking he especially enjoys eating food offered at the annual event.
For Blair, who has driven a motorcycle since he was 16, much of the rally’s thrill comes from just riding.
“It blows all the cobwebs out of your brain,” he said.
Just outside the bar, several kicked up dust as they sauntered up and down U.S. 17 Business, bouncing around different establishments.
Some checked out the litany of vendor stands set up offering anything from event hoodies and patches to shades and motorcycle accessories.
Flashy LED lights on bikes illuminated nearby parking lots as rally goers shook hands and cruised the adjacent thoroughfare.
Alexia Casey could be seen selling cold bottles to patrons at The Beaver Bar.
“I love it,” said the Murrells Inlet native who has worked at other rallies including ones in Sturgis, growing up just a couple miles from the bar.
She mentioned several bikers ride for different causes.
“It’s all about coming out and having a good time,” she said. “I love Bike Week. I was never really much of a big biker person until I started working it. The people that you meet form the different areas and stuff, it’s awesome.”
While many attending the rally are regulars, some like Indiana resident Dara Drapper were in town for their first.
“All my friends come here every year,” she said. “It’s the best week of their life.”
Drapper said she enjoys browsing the different merchandise sold during the event.
“It’s just a blast,” she said of the rally.
Having gotten into the area over the weekend, she moseyed with friends and took everything in.
“I just like it all,” she said. “It’s a new experience.”