Myrtle Beach vendors worried upcoming ‘Palmetto Festival’ won’t happen

Growing concerns over upcoming Myrtle Beach festival

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Vendors in Myrtle Beach are worried about an upcoming food and music festival scheduled for July 7 at Grand Park at The Market Common because they don’t think it will take place.

The Palmetto Festival is set to be put on by Black Bear and Company, an organization run by a woman named Jenna Curtis.

However, Myrtle Beach leaders said no permits have been issued for the event.

Many of the vendors who originally signed up decided to pull out of the festival over concerns about an event held in Georgia in May that was also organized by Curtis and Black Bear and Company.

Vendors said Curtis lacked communication in the weeks and days leading up to the event. A band was scheduled to perform but couldn’t because there wasn’t any audio equipment for them to hold a concert.

Word about the Georgia debacle spread to Myrtle Beach vendors and now some are opting out of the Palmetto Festival over concerns it could encounter the same fate as the North Georgia Peach Festival.

Myrtle Beach vendors said Curtis originally scheduled the event to be held in Georgetown earlier this year, but then she changed the location to downtown Myrtle Beach at the old pavilion site July 7. The site was changed one more time to Grand Park, while the date remain unchanged.

Vendors said they had to pay $100 to enter the Palmetto Festival. When they decided to pull out of the event, they could not get a hold of Curtis or anyone with Black Bear and Company.

“She’s not answering any phone calls, she won’t email us back,” Kerry Ragland, owner and operator of Kurbside Katering food truck, said. “And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do?’”

WMBF News attempted to reach out to Curtis for comment. The phone number on Black Bear and Company’s website has been disconnected. Curtis did not reply to an email sent Friday afternoon.

Ragland was able to get his money back through a claim from his bank.

Another vendor, Beverly Overman with Name Rings and Things, also got her money back through a claim from PayPal. She said she filed the claim, told her side of the story, and PayPal gave Curtis a certain number of days to reply.

According to Overman, Curtis never replied to PayPal, so they issued her a refund. Not every vendor, however, has been as fortunate.

Shannon Garrow with EZCheezyTruck said she is still out $100 after signing up for the festival.

Vendors said Curtis deleted a Facebook event for Palmetto Festival, but the website for Black Bear and Company still allows people to buy tickets.

The website lists tickets at $10 each, tickets for a paddle race at $35 and tickets for a kids paddle race at $25.

Vendors are hoping Curtis has answers and they’re hoping she’s held accountable.

"You're going around ripping off food truckers,” Ragland said. “Some of us just barely make it by. We don't need that. We don't need that in our business at all."

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