What to expect for the Darlington bike rally

DARLINGTON, SC (WBTW) – Sixty thousand people are expected to come to Darlington next week for the National Biker’s Roundup event at the Darlington Dragway.

While the City of Darlington and the City of Hartsville both say they’ve had very little planning to do with this event, the owner of the Darlington Dragway says he’s been in constant contact with the biker group.

Ronnie Siders owns the Darlington Dragway, and he says he’s been talking with the biker group for more than a year about coming to Darlington.

He says it’s Darlington’s economy that led him to set up the event.

“I was asked very strongly ‘please, please, the economy in this area could really use a boost. Please make it happen’,” said Siders.

Now, he says he’s worried the traveling biker group is getting a bad name before it even comes to South Carolina.

“Go on the computer, pull up the history. Last year, it was in Tulsa Oklahoma. There was no arrest, there was no violence, nobody got stabbed, nobody got shot,” said Siders.

Siders says most of the bikers he’s talked to are middle-aged professionals who travel every year for the event to have a good time.

Sheriff Wayne Byrd says he agrees, but his officers will be ready for the crowd.

“We tend to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best. So, we do have big plans. We’ve got a lot of officers and help coming in to help us handle the event,” said Sheriff Byrd.

Siders says the bikers will have different events every night including racing competitions, cook outs, and entertainers at the Dragway throughout the week.

Those events are scheduled to take place between 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. all next week.

Officers say if you’re one of those trying to avoid traffic, be sure to avoid Highway 151 in front of the Darlington Dragway.

The official rally will take place August 5th – August 9th, but Siders says you can expect to start seeing bikers come to the area as early as this Sunday.

For more updates on that event, be sure to stick with News 13 for the latest.

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