DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tens of thousands of bikers are expected to roll through Central Florida starting Thursday for the annual Biketoberfest celebration in Daytona Beach.
"We are excited to celebrate the 20th year of this award-winning festival," says Jeffrey Hentz, president and chief executive officer of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Biketoberfest annually attracts more than 100,000 motorcycle enthusiasts to the event. Businesses hope the turnout for this year's event is larger than before.
"We had some weather issues," said vendor Dave Leslae. "With the economy, the scheduling and the weather it effects the turnouts."
Event organizers estimate between Biketoberfest and Bikeweek, the events bring a $744 million boost to the greater Daytona Beach economy.
Recognized as one of the region's top festivals by the Southeast Tourism Society, this year's fest runs through Sunday and includes street festivals, concerts, motorcycle shows, demonstration rides and Fall Cycle Scene racing action at Daytona International Speedway.
With the increase of motorcycles on area roadways, the Florida Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be extra careful.
In 2010, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 350 motorcyclists and 33 passengers were killed in traffic crashes statewide.
For more on this year's festivities, visit the Biketoberfest website.
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