MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Many are used to a big celebration in downtown Myrtle Beach each year on St. Patrick's Day. However, things are a little different this year.
In the past, a big festival is held on Myrtle Beach's former pavilion site, where thousands show up to drink their green beer and pretend to be Irish for a day. That won't be happening this year, and construction is partially to blame. Peggy Iverson, the executive director for the Oceanfront Merchants Association, said there is too much construction along Ocean Boulevard for the road improvement project. It would not allow for festival goers to be able to safely enjoy a festival.
Another reason the festival was canceled for this year: OMA did not have enough funding available to pay for all the cleanup costs. The city of Myrtle Beach did not provide funding in the budget.
But you are in luck. There will still be plenty to do along the beach to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. The OMA is coordinating an effort called "Get Your Green On!" It is to encourage everyone to shop, eat, and play along the oceanfront for this Irish holiday and the rest of the weekend. Thursday through Saturday, if you're wearing green, then you can get discounts.
"If you're wearing something green in honor of St. Patty's Day, then you can enjoy the savings," said Iverson. "And we're going to have merchants down here anywhere from 'buy one get one free' to maybe 'two for one' specials. It just depends on the business and what they're going to offer."
Participating businesses and restaurants will have green balloons outside.
One business that is participating is the Boardwalk Coffee House. There will be special Irish coffee drinks and Irish cookies at great prices. The owner said she is not worried about not having a festival this year, because she said the amount of business they saw last weekend was more than what they saw last St. Patrick's Day.
"There's so many people downtown and they're still down here enjoying," said Deann Sarber, the Boardwalk Coffee House owner. "And then this coming weekend, we're just inviting everyone, even the Street Riders, to come and enjoy coming down here for some discounts and we're going to have some live music. So it's going to be a great time to come!"
On Friday and Saturday there will also be live concerts at Plyler Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Anyone can also win prizes. There will be a prize drawing for two three-day passes to the Carolina Country Music Fest. There will also be a photo booth. For more information on the events, click here.