Memorial Day in Myrtle

posted by Intern Bri -

Memorial Day Weekend in Myrtle Beach has had a tumultuous history to say the least, but here's how we got to where we are today. 

1980 – Flaming Knight Riders have their first gathering in Atlantic Beach, South Carolina. The rally was then named the Atlantic Beach Memorial Day BikeFest.

1982 – Flaming Knight Riders receive a charter as the Carolina Knight Riders motorcycle club. BikeFest grows to about 100 participants.

2002 – BikeFest has flowed over from Atlantic Beach into the Myrtle Beach area. Attendance has grown to over 300,000 people.

2003 – Group of black motorcyclists and SC NAACP sue MB, abuse traffic law enforcement and excessive force by the police to harass black bikers. 28 companies named in suit for closing doors or cutting back hours during Black Bike Week

2005 – Friendly’s Ice Cream Corporation and MB Friends Boulevard LLC sued for closing indoor areas

2008 – MB City Council announces it will no longer host motorcycle rallies, passing 15 laws on muffler noise, requiring helmet laws, limiting parking, restricting loitering and more

2010 – NAACP releases press release indicating that it would continue to monitor police and local businesses for possible discrimination, helmet law struck down by SC Supreme Court

2014- Three people killed and one wounded in shootings at the Bermuda Sands Motel in Myrtle Beach, Nikki Haley calls for Bikefest to come to an end, saying that it damaged the area’s reputation, hurting tourism and efforts to attract other industries

2015 – 23-mile traffic loop in effect from 10 pm to 2 am May 22-24, moved Military Appreciation Days parade and picnic to May 16.

2017 – Memorial Day weekend parade has been moved to Market Common. Memorial Day observances occur alongside the BikeFest festivities. 

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