LEESBURG, Fla. - Thousands of people packed the Leesburg Bikefest Saturday, but the festival didn’t kick off without a little danger on the roads.
Officials said there were at least three Bikefest-related crashes on Friday when the event started.
They said two more accidents had been tacked on to the list by Saturday, some with injuries.
Law enforcement is now stepping up efforts to make sure the rest of the weekend is safe.
One of Saturday’s wrecks caused one person to be transported to the hospital with a head injury.
“We are here for a good time and you hate hearing things like that,” said biker Mike Fiore.
Police said they’ve also had several reports of people suffering from heat exhaustion.
Some attendees said pedestrian safety has become an issue.
“They are not stopping for pedestrians. They just keep going right on by, and not even waiting for them to cross,” said Wendy Ortisi.
The three-day event is expected to draw close to 300,000 people and generate a big boost to the local economy, with 250 vendors and 70 concerts over a 30-block area.
The 68 Leesburg police officers were out in full force Friday, and are expected to maintain that presence throughout the weekend, with the help of sheriff’s deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers.
“Police are out here and they are making sure that traffic is going at a nice, even pace,” said biker Larry Favors. “You have to be alert.”
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