Osage Beach, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it will have additional staff in the lake area for increased traffic ahead of Bikefest.
The five-day event will take place from Wednesday to Sunday.
The Bagnell Dam will be closed for MoDOT repairs this year, but Bagnell Dam Strip businesses will remain open.
Heather Brown, the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau executive director, says bikers have already begun to roll in.
"Bikers started arriving last weekend and we continue to see more as the week progresses," Brown said. "Bikefest has been an event at Lake of the Ozarks for the past 15 years and we are ready to kick off another great year."
Attendees will need to take an alternate route to get to the businesses on the Bagnell Dam Strip, but lake organizations have planned specific times for the strip to be open to bikers.
The Bagnell Dam Strip from Ballenger Road to the Dam will be closed daily from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. from Wednesday until Monday at 2 a.m.
Vehicles will be permitted from 3 a.m. until 11 a.m. daily for normal traffic and close at 11 a.m. to bikers only.
The Bagnell Dam Strip Association, businesses on Bagnell Dam Strip and the Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau have also secured additional security for the area, porta-potties, and trash clean up.
Bikefest's 15th anniversary comes just two months after a fatal shootout between opposing bike clubs.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol says it will have extra troopers in the lake area for the event.
"We will have additional staff on hand in the lake area for the increased traffic," said MSHP Troop F spokesperson Kyle Green. “We are there to make sure everyone is being safe while having a good time. Our enforcement efforts will be the same for this event as they are for all other events.”
According to the Stormtrack Weather Team, it's expected to be sunny and warm at the lake for the five-day event. Corporal Green says this has the MSHP strategizing for more lake coverage.
"With the weather being warm, we will also be heavily patrolling the lake itself," Green said. "With the large number of visitors coming to Lake of the Ozarks from around the country to enjoy Bikefest, we will have extra troopers on hand to help with traffic and to look for hazardous moving violations."
According to Brown, an 'official passport run' will begin on Wednesday and end on Sunday, where bikers can buy a 'passport' and visit 18 locations for their chance to win a motorcycle.
"The weather looks like it will be great and we know the bikers will have a great time while visiting the entire Lake Area," Brown said.
The event will host three vendor village areas at Lake of the Ozarks Harley-Davidson, Camden on the Lake Resort and throughout Bagnell Dam Blvd.
You can find more information about the event here.