DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Motorcyclists are rejoicing that the 78th Annual Bike Week in Daytona Beach has begun.

It begins Friday and runs through Sunday, March 17 and is one of the largest biker gatherings in the world. Thousands of bikers will roll into Daytona Beach as well as other parts of Volusia and Flagler counties.

The Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau expects hundreds of thousands of bikers to travel from far and wide for this year's event.

“Bike Week in Daytona Beach is just a regional event that brings motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world," said Lori Campbell Baker with the visitors bureau. 



It's an annual tradition for many. The Bartels from Ohio have come twice a year for the last 40 years.

“The atmosphere is like family. We have people that we meet from Germany here that come and meet up with us, Tennesseans from Knoxville, Canadians from Ontario -- this is our meeting point," said Jackie Bartels, who first came to Bike Week at just 6 weeks old.

Overall, this event is also great for local businesses.

“Every day it is busy. You open at 9 a.m., it's busy; you close at 2 a.m., and its still busy… for the next 10 days," said Eli Farhat, owner of America’s Bikers.

Farhat said the event allows them to keep their doors open the rest of the year.

However, with all the commotion, Daytona Beach Police and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office are keeping close watch.

To make sure everyone stays safe and has a great time, Daytona Beach Police Department will have extra patrols out.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said deputies were very busy on the first night of Bike week. He said deputies made over 50 car stops, 34 citations and 11 arrests for Molly and Cocaine.