Tags: daytona | motorcycle | rally | crowds | covid

Daytona Beach Expecting 300,000 For Weeklong Motorcycle Rally

motorcycles cruising down a street
Visitors and motorcycle enthusiasts congregate on Main Street at Bike Week festivities during a new coronavirus pandemic, Monday in Daytona Beach, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 March 2021 05:11 PM

Daytona Beach is expecting more than 300,000 people for an annual motorcycle rally already underway and ongoing through the coming weekend as Florida's seven-day average of new daily infections of the novel coronavirus continue to fall to levels last seen in October.

Bike Week, which began Friday in the Central Florida municipality on the state's Atlantic coast, is a 10-day festival of concerts, races and bike shows that runs through Sunday.

Already, visitors have been enjoying the party atmosphere.

"Main Street is a crazy, a crazy party, a crazy party," Lucas Martino told NBC network's Orlando affiliate WESH. Martino is scheduled to compete in the Supercross race event.

"I've only missed two Bike Weeks since 1982," New Jersey resident Bob Dugan said. Bike Week is celebrating its 80th year.

Typically, in the past, (attendance) was estimated between 400,000 and 500,000 for the 10 days over this entire area," CNN reported Daytona Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and COO Janet Kersey writing in an email Tuesday.

"This year we know because of continued COVID-19 concerns and the loss of income many have had over this past year, it will be less. A reasonable estimate would be around 300,000-plus."

Florida's seven-day average of new infections fell to 58,838 on Monday, the fewest the state has seen since Oct. 19, according to worldometers.info. The most recent numbers are down since peaking at 255,567 on Jan. 11.

"We know our hotels are doing well with strong occupancy numbers reported to the Volusia County Hotel & Lodging Association," Kersey told CNN.

The Daytona Beach City Council considered canceling Bike Week, but was "very meticulous in its decision to move forward."

Florida does not have a statewide facial covering requirement and while several large municipalities do, they are barred from enforcing it with fines or other penalties due to a Sept. 15 executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Daytona Beach is asking residents and visitors to wear masks indoors, has posted more signage to urge the wearing of masks and has created motorcycle-only zones to limit the pedestrian traffic.

"I spent some time on Main Street last week. I didn't see many people masking up. The vast majority of the crowd was not," police spokesman Messod Bendayan told CNN Tuesday.

WESH reported Main Street as "packed.

"It's just fun, like the creativity of different people with their bikes," said Christina Bonilla of nearby Kissimmee.

Daytona also is the site of the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race, which was held Feb. 14 with about 30,000 people, less than a third of its regular attendance.

"Lot of motorcycles. Main Street is great. It's got the beach. It's got girls. It's got whatever you're looking for, let's put it that way," Dugan said.

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US
Daytona Beach is expecting more than 300,000 people for an annual motorcycle rally already underway and ongoing through the coming weekend as Florida's seven-day average of new daily infections of the novel coronavirus continue to fall to levels last seen in October.
daytona, motorcycle, rally, crowds, covid
458
2021-11-09
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 05:11 PM
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