Myrtle Beach may expand its famed motorcycle rallies

Residents worried about a proposed motorcycle rally in North Myrtle Beach extending the spring rally season to three weeks won't have to worry if the plan moves forward with newly proposed changes.

The five-day convention, which had previously been billed as a free-standing event, would coincide with the Harley-Davidson Cruisin' the Coast Spring Rally after organizers agreed to move the dates of the new event earlier in the month of May.

Organizers of the Harley-Davidson spring rally said the Main Street event would likely be the official space for Harley-Davidson corporate and the Harley Owners Group events and be part of the larger rally - which has also been trimmed down to five days.

"The majority of what they would do is having Harley-Davidson there for demo rides and maybe some additional vendors. Basically it would be another location where there was something at Barefoot, Murrells Inlet and then stuff on Main Street. ... That would be kind of like the home base of Bike week," said Mike Shank, marketing director for Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson. "Generally when corporate brings the demo rides, the Harley Owners Group attends and does an event pin."

Mark Lazarus, who is spearheading the North Myrtle Beach event with Horry County Councilman Harold Worley, said it will bring as many as 10,000 additional bikers to North Myrtle Beach through the HOG group. The two businessmen filed a special events permit application with North Myrtle Beach to be able to house about 40 vendors from May 11 through May 15 at their shared business venture, the O.D. Pavilion Amusement Park at Ocean Boulevard and Main Street. The original application called for later dates in May.

"What we're doing is strictly vending at the Pavilion site. The HOG Group generally holds pinning events at the corporate [sponsored booths]. We're looking at potentially 10,000 HOG members coming through to stop at that pinning event and bringing their business to Main Street," he said. "Would it be out of the question that other motorcyclists will come up to the corporate vending area? No. But, we won't have anything but vending from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. if we can get the city's approval."Read this story on