Atlantic Beach Bikefest gets underway with more security

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — The Atlantic Beach Bikefest is getting underway on the Grand Strand amid heightened security after violence last year.

The weekend is expected to bring about 400,000 people to the Myrtle Beach area for the Bikefest and the first long weekend of the summer season.

Horry County emergency officials report there have already been several motorcycle accidents and that emergency rooms in the area are running near capacity.

Local media outlets report that about 120 people gathered at an elementary school Thursday night to pray for a safe weekend. Dozens of extra law enforcement officers from three states are on duty in the area.

Last year violence during the Bikefest weekend left three dead and seven wounded in the area.