Murrells Inlet decides to end firework shows

Murrells Inlet decides to end firework shows

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - It may only be February but sparks are flying over the decision whether or not to continue the fireworks shows in Murrells Inlet.

A news release issued Wednesday said the fireworks will be discontinued for the summer of 2015. The unanimous decision was made by marsh walk restaurant owners, following controversy over the summer about fireworks' noise and debris ending up in the inlet.

Charlie Campbell, owner of Dead Dog Saloon presented the decision to the town's community revitalization group, Murrells Inlet 2020. He spoke on behalf of all the Marshwalk Restaurants.

You may remember the controversy the fireworks have caused for people in the community. There have been supporters, but also complaints about the noise and debris ending up in the inlet since the firework show started two years ago.

Groups works to control fireworks damage on the South Strand

Campbell says stopping the show will nurture a neighborly relationship between the restaurants and the community. He says the loss of fireworks shouldn't harm any of the businesses.

The spark behind the show was really just an added perk for inlet-goers, both locals and tourists alike.

"We did it because we felt like it was the right thing to do," said Campbell. "That also allows us some time to research if there is any harm to the marsh as a result of the debris from the fallout of the fireworks. At this point that's been unfounded."

The business owners along the marshwalk know how much the firework show was a crowd pleaser. With that being said, they want to keep the area a top destination for visitors and locals alike. The search is on to find other avenues of entertainment, to keep you coming back. Marketing dollars are being re-directed for summer inlet attractions. The restaurant owners are in the early stages of looking for this new entertainment. One thing discussed was a light show, but Campbell said that is very expensive to put on.

Since the time lately has been spent coming to the decision to get rid of the fireworks, the time moving forward will be to find what will replace them.

It's still unclear whether or not there will be a firework show for the 4th of July. As of right now, no concrete decision has been made.

In the meantime, a new plan to keep the inlet litter free is in the works, called the Inlet Friendly Business Program. Its a voluntary program and its free.

The idea is to get everyone to help reduce their environmental impact on the inlet.

Murrells Inlet 2020 used other litter programs, like Conway's River Friendly Business Program, as an outline to come up with their rough draft.

Basically, inlet-friendly businesses will have to meet certain requirements. One of those is meeting a certain amount of action items each businesses will have to take. It can be something as simple as regularly cleaning litter around each business.

The idea is to have this work as a point system. The more points you get, the better.

Those involved will eventually get a stamp of approval on their business or a sticker naming them inlet friendly. Businesses which participate will get promoted on social media and websites, for their commitment.

"I mean its a result of thousands upon thousands of people going through that Marshwalk in the high season and you just have to keep up with it," said Campbell. "We don't want to lose that, that's the golden goose."

This program is in the beginning stages but the group will eventually invite the public to make their homes inlet friendly, as well.

Murrells Inlet 2020 is hoping to come up with a final draft by the Chowder Talk which is tentatively scheduled for the end of April.

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