MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Festivities this weekend served as the official kickoff to Can Am Days in the Myrtle Beach area. A concert held by Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach was held at First United Methodist Church on King's Highway.
"Today's concert is part of the kickoff of Can Am week," said Franceen De Cicco, the group's conductor. "Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach has been doing this event for the past ten years."
The festival, which plays a vital role in kicking off the busy tourist season in the Grand Strand, is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary making this year especially important. The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce first introduced the idea back in 1961.
The festival attracts people from all over the Carolina Coast, not just the Grand Strand, and brings in over 100,000 visitors.
"They're wonderful. We've been coming to them for years," said Verdun Kerswell, who traveled to the concert from Calabash, North Carolina. His family is originally from upstate New York, which is heavily influenced by Canada.
"The Canadian National Anthem is part of our hockey games; part of our culture," said Kerswell. "It's good to see all these folks here."
Kerswell is also glad that the Grand Strand has become a major tourist destination for America's northern neighbors.
"This is where they should come. It's a whole day less than going to Florida."