Myrtle Beach cancels 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Myrtle Beach cancels 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Festival

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Oceanfront Merchants Association said it doesn't have the money to host this year's St. Patrick's Day Festival.

On Tuesday, Myrtle Beach City Council approved the event permit but not the in-kind funds to go with it. That money would have gone toward police and cleanup, something OMA said it can't afford right now.

"It came down to the fact that nobody wanted to come up with the extra money," said Buzz Plyler, a board member with OMA. "We had already spent the money we had and it's the time of year where you don't have any money."

Plyler said the group had no choice. He said since Oktoberfest was rained out, there isn't any money left for this event.

The city isn't about to take the blame.

"The Oceanfront Merchants Association, over the last three years, has received $400,000 directly from the city and another $685,000 from the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. So, $2,800 is a fairly small amount in the scheme of things," said city spokesman Mark Kruea.

Businesses near where the event would have been don't care about the dollar amount; they care about losing business.

"It sucks, it really does suck," said Gil Reibenbach, co-owner of 8th Avenue Tik Bar & Grill. "It's like a kickoff for us for the season down here."

Reibenbach said his business depends on the holiday. This year he'll host his own St. Patty's day event, but nothing will fill up his bar like the festival has in the past.

"I'll try my best to simulate what they usually do, but it's a little bit harder when you don't have a fair that closes off an entire block," He said.

Kruea said the city asks groups to pay for those in-kind services all the time.

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