GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — An expected more than 250,000 motorcycles and a half-million people are beginning to converge on Galveston for the start of one of the island's biggest annual events.

The 16th Lone Star Rally runs through Sunday.

Resident Sheila Walker tells The Galveston County Daily News the miles and miles of bikes brings "chill bumps up and down your spine." But another islander, Cheri Wood, says she and her husband will flee and go scuba diving to avoid "rabble rousing" they believe the event brings.

With so many people on the island, city spokeswoman Jaree Fortin says officials have stepped up safety efforts and are advising residents to be aware of road closings and expect heavier traffic than usual. City officials estimate last year's event brought about $115.6 million to Galveston.

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Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com