Ocean City Today

BikeFest has calm year again, by OCPD calls

By Katie Tabeling | Sep 21, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling

(Sept. 22, 2017) Even though the attendance at this year’s OC BikeFest was comparable to last year’s huge motorcycle rally, the Ocean City Police Department reported a dramatic drop in number of incidents over the course of the four-day event.

From Sept. 14-17, police recorded 1,153 service calls this year. That was a sharp decline compared to 2016, which saw 1,662. This year’s calls also fell below the six-year average of 1,446 calls for service.

In its seventh year in the resort, BikeFest offered concerts from Led Zeppelin tribute band Kashmir and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Some council members had criticized the festival for attracting a bad element that requires a heightened police presence.

This was also the first year that the BikeFest venues served mixed drinks. The City Council originally shot down the request, but approved it when BikeFest promoters said bartenders would pour 1.5 ounces of a spirit from a limited bar into a glass of ice while topping it off with soda, ginger ale or lemonade.

“What I heard, the crowd on Saturday night was calm and friendly, even with beer, wine and liquor involved,” Special Events Superintendent Frank Miller said.

Despite liquor sales and low police activity, there was a spike in arrests. Police reported 56 arrests between Thursday and Sunday as compared to 42 arrests in 2016.

Included in this year’s count are 11 DUIs, six weapons arrests and three drug arrests.

Residents called in 316 complaints this year, which is slightly lower than last year’s 363 calls.

Police also involved themselves in 1,153 instances on their own. That tracks with the average between 2012 and 2016, with 1,129 officer responses.

This was OC BikeFest’s second year with the trailer ordinance, which calls for fines if oversized vehicles are parked without a permit on city streets. Just one citation of that nature was written this year. Last year, 133 tickets were written for trailer parking violations.

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