MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of Myrtle Beach's annual St. Patrick's Day Festival is a no-go for this year, but there are a lot of other events happening around town. One specifically is bringing more business and marketing to an area you might not expect needs it.
As we've reported in the past, the Market Common sometimes struggles to keep its stores around. The packed parking situation is usually for the food and movie theater. In 2014 we told you about Dixie Divas, a store that left the Market Common for Highway 501's Tanger Outlets. Devo Olive Oil (now Dove Olive Oil) also moved out in June of that year. When those stores moved out, Charming Charlie moved in to a three-storefront space and is still there.
Charming Charlie assistant manager Kaylee Barnes said she'd like to see more marketing done for the area. "A lot of people don't even know we're here…we're a smaller brand so we're getting our name out there and it would help tremendously if [Market Common] was promoting all of the shops more as well," she said.
But Barnes is happy the Market Common brings annual festivals there. She says it helps with business and brings returning customers to the stores.
"On festival days, our sales go from around a $5,000 day to $8,000," she said.
The business success at the Market Common seems to differ depending on the trade. Although Tommy Bahama Restaurant closed in 2013, Co Sushi and The Brass Tap opened within the last few years.
The King Street Grille especially reaps the benefits when the festivals come to the Market Common. King Street Grille waitress Andi Heimmerman said more people work and King Street Grille even has sponsors like Jameson Whiskey for Irish Fest.
"The whole thing was packed, this year the basketball games are on so we're probably expecting a little more than last year," Heimmerman said when talking about last year's Irish Fest.
"I'll be here all day [Saturday]…I love it, the business is just crazy and the fact you can't even walk through to the bar is pretty awesome," Heimmerman said. She said she's excited for volunteers to work on festival days this year, and is expecting even more people than last year.
The Market Common Irish fest is privately funded through a group headed by Mike Shank. He says this year's Irish Fest will be different from last year because the vendors abandoned by the cancellation of the Myrtle Beach St. Patrick's Day Festival have come to him. Irish Fest will have about 35 vendors this year, live music and more activities for kids like pony rides and a petting zoo, Shank said.
The Market Common Irish Fest is Saturday, March 12, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Valor Memorial Garden. Click here for details.
North Myrtle Beach is also celebrating on March 12. The 28th Annual North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade will be at 9 a.m. on Main Street with traditional Irish bagpipes and dancers. The festival will follow the parade from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A contest for the best-dressed leprechaun for adults only will take place. You can also jam to live music at the festival - for concert times and more information click here.
The first annual Luck of the Marshwalk event will take place at Murrell's Inlet on March 17. Come dressed in your most festive St. Patrick's day costume and you may be in luck to win prizes.
The Oceanfront Merchant's Association (OMA) will still host a 'go green' initiative to celebrate St. Patrick's day over the March 18-19 weekend. There will be free concerts in Myrtle Beach's Plyer Park from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The "Get Your Green On" promotions will be March 17 to 20 and will benefit merchants by the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. Click here for more.
These events are free for entry.