MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The holiday season has officially begun and downtown Myrtle Beach wants in on some of the action.
The City of Myrtle Beach is on its way to become a year round tourist destination. The Oceanfront Merchants Association kicked off its third annual Holidays on the Boardwalk, and the area was packed with people coming to check it out.
The holiday extravaganza left hundreds of people surprised.
Vonicheska White, a visitor said, "When I first saw the camel, I definitely said, 'we have to ride the camel.' Never in a million years did I think that."
It's not everyday you can ride camel, but every Saturday in December, you have a chance too.
The Oceanfront Merchants Association put the event together with the goal to attract visitors every month of the year.
Peggy Iverson, the Executive Director of OMA said, "Putting on all these different events down here on the boardwalk and the downtown area just provides more value for our visitors that come down here."
The OMA gets money from the city to put on these type of events, but it's not guaranteed.
Iverson continued, "Some of the challenges I think is just trying to raise the money we need dedicated funding and we're trying to figure out some of the ways to do that."
Now the new executive director is looking for another source of income and also how to make it safe during special events and festivals.
James Hufnagel, manager of Duffy's said, "I love it, it's a great look at all these people down here, the weather is great."
Shop owners were glad to see the OMA's plan to get people to visit, spend, and eat was unfolding seamlessly.