HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Tens of thousands of dollars will be spent across the Grand Strand this Thursday when fireworks fill the night sky.
North Myrtle Beach spends around $20,000 of taxpayer money for its Fourth of July show.
City spokesperson Pat Dowling said Thursday’s show is the only one the city funds with money from its general fund.
While Conway doesn’t have a Fourth of July fireworks show, the Conway Chamber of Commerce did have fireworks during its Riverfest the previous weekend.
The Conway Chamber of Commerce said those fireworks cost around $5,000 and were sponsored by the Conway National Bank.
Throughout the summer months, multiple fireworks shows will light up the Myrtle Beach sky several times a week, however none of the shows are funded by the city.
Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation has funded Wednesday evening fireworks shows at Second Avenue Pier, but this year those shows are funded entirely through sponsorship.
The corporation allocated $110,000 in 2018 for fireworks.
Lauren Clever with the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation (DRC) said the city decided to reallocate the funds generated by parking fees toward the Downtown Master Plan.
“We were getting a master plan in place so we knew there was going to be some things that were going to need to be accomplished, and one of the things that we did last year was we purchased three buildings for the potential proposed performing arts theater so the funds that we put in our budget this year are going to go to help pay down that, the mortgage on those buildings,” Clever explained.
The Second Avenue Pier fireworks will be sponsored by 5-Hour Energy through Thursday. In exchange for sponsoring the shows, the business is allowed to come downtown and share their product and offer samples for a few weekends, including Fourth of July.
“That’s something they find value for and they pay for that,” Clever said. “The goal is to continue to do efforts like that and to grow that.”
The Oceanfront Merchants Associations and various downtown businesses also contribute to fireworks costs throughout the season.
“They feel like it’s such an important part to offer to our visitors and guests and locals... that they are willing to put in the money to make sure the fireworks happen,” said Michelle Kerscher, the treasurer of the Oceanfront Merchant Association.
Kerscher said future shows are funded by Brittain Resorts, the SkyWheel, Ocean Enclave by Hilton, Landsouth, Ripleys Attractions and Gay Dolphin.
“It is a large ticket item to fund these fireworks when you look at how much fireworks cost, it’s kind of amazing, but thankfully, the local businesses think it’s important,” Kerscher said.
In the future, Clever said the city is hoping to have brand sponsors full cover the cost of the fireworks.
Thursday’s fireworks show in Murrells Inlet is sponsored by seven MarshWalk restaurants. A spokesperson for the group declined to say how much the businesses spend on fireworks.
Surfside Beach will not have fireworks this year.