MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Sun Fun Festival made its return over the weekend, after being gone for nearly five years. The rich history of the festival had many excited about what its return could mean for downtown Myrtle Beach.
Saturday saw several traditions from the old Sun Fun, including the Sun Fun Jail, shag contests and the parade, which included Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes and city Councilman Randall Wallace.
"I really had a good time. It was a nice event. The parade really went, I thought, pretty well. They had some decent crowds although it helped to have the Salt Games down here too. Then when I came back for the concert that night, they had a big crowd there and it looked like everybody was having a really good time," said Wallace. "So I think in that respect, it's been a home run for the first time out." said Wallace.
The festival began back in 1951 but was canceled in 2010 from lack of funding. Festival organizer Michelle Kerscher said the crowds could have been bigger during the day, but most people trickled in and out while on their way to the beach.
However, Kerscher said the evening concerts brought a full house.
"We're also going to look at next year maybe expanding the night activities," she said. "It's so hard when the beach is right down there, people are at the beach during the day and it's so hot out here.
Kerscher added several old vendors and sponsors are showing interest in being a part of the historic festival once again, and that the economic boost will do great things for downtown Myrtle Beach.
"This will be a great way to kick off the summer, and something that's going to bring in not only the tourists who might be here or stumble in here, but the local folks who I think have missed it and want to be a part of something and that's what you saw." said Wallace.
Kerscher said she and others have been pleased with the city's support of the Sun Fun Festival and hope to see it back next year.