MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – The holiday celebration has officially started, and while you can find events and shows all over the Grand Strand, people in Murrells Inlet are kicking things off with a fun tradition - the patriotic boat parade.
It's a tradition that's been going on for decades, from the boat parade to the fireworks display, organizers said these events are just one more way they're pumping energy into the Inlet.
"We have people from all over this weekend to see those two things, so we're just really excited," said Murrells Inlet 2020 Executive Director Renee Williamson.
Organizers aren't the only ones thrilled for all of the weekend fun. Locals are just as excited to see boats pass by in patriotic colors.
"It's just an absolutely fantastic event. I think it's grown - maybe 75 to well over 100, 150, 200 boats," said Murrells Inlet local Carol McGane.
It's expected for thousands to come from all over the Grand Strand, but McGane said this weekend is about much more than the events.
"It will have thankfulness, freedom and giving God the glory for everything that we're so blessed to have," McGane said.
There were hundreds who raved about the free show last year, but others were worried about potential environmental damage. So while there is a lot of fun planned for the holiday weekend, they are also making sure all the trash is cleared, too.
"It's not just for firework debris, it's for the boat parade debris. And it's just for general trash," Williamson said. "It's just like if you have a party at your house, you have to clean up afterwards. And we're going to have a three-day party here, so we're going to have to have an afternoon to clean up."
The clean-up will be Tuesday starting at 5 p.m. at the Murrells Inlet 2020 office. The boat parade starts Saturday and 5 p.m. and the fireworks display starts Monday at 10 p.m.