16th Annual Thunder Beach Spring Rally Gets Underway - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

16th Annual Thunder Beach Spring Rally Gets Underway

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The severe storms have moved out of the Panhandle, but the thunder is still rolling in Panama City Beach. Thousands of bike enthusiasts are riding in for the 16th Annual Thunder Beach Spring Rally.

Even this week's heavy rainfall and flooding aren't keep bikers from enjoying a weekend of entertainment and cruising along the Gulf of Mexico.

"The weather wasn't going to stop us," Labraun Purdy, who traveled from Rome, Georgia, said.  "We didn't get wet until we first got here."

"We were supposed to come down here for a nice relaxing sunny week, and we had some rain, but we're here now so we're making the best of it," Roxan Ashburn, of Ohio, added.

Eight venues open their doors for visitors to park their motorcycles, enjoy a bite to eat, and listen to live music.

"The beach is beautiful. We love Panama City Beach and it was also kind of our first date," Ron and Cheryl Foster said.  "So we come back every year."

"I enjoy it down here. It's a lot of fun, a lot of people, big crowd," Jackie Carter, of Jacksonville, Florida, added.  "I enjoy coming down here, a lot of things to do."

However, most visitors said it's the friendships, both old and new, and a shared love of motorcycles that bring them to Panama City Beach year after year.

"We just love riding all over. My wife has her own bike. We just love to ride bikes," Henry Johnson of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Panama City Beach Police will be out directing traffic if needed this weekend, but Chief Drew Whitman said drivers should plan for congested roads and delays.

The Spring Rally wraps up Sunday night.