Thousands come out for private St. Patrick’s Day celebration in North Myrtle Beach

The city canceled its annual parade for the second straight year

Thousands come out for private St. Patrick’s Day celebration in North Myrtle Beach

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Exactly one year ago on Saturday, the City of North Myrtle Beach canceled its traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year, the city moved canceled the event again, but a few weeks in advance. The move paved the way for businesses up and down Main Street to put on their own celebration.

“It’s really exciting to see, I’m glad everybody came out, and we’re getting busier and busier by the hour,” said Weldon Boyd, who owns Bouys on the Boulevard.

Boyd spearheaded the effort for businesses on Main Street to have their own St Patrick’s Day celebration, once the city canceled theirs.

He began planning the “St. Patrick’s Day Crawl for All,” which also originally included plans for a parade.

Those initial plans were shot down after opposition from the city, but Boyd decided to go on with the crawl.

He said he was worried businesses would suffer without it.

“Last year we didn’t know what was ahead of us,” said Boyd. “It was such a huge time of unknowns for the future, and now we’re really on the backside of this thing.”

All remaining COVID-19 restrictions in South Carolina were removed by Gov. Henry McMaster earlier this month, including the “Last Call” order and an order requiring events to seek a permit to hold mass gatherings.

Nearly a week later, the City of North Myrtle Beach lifted its mask mandate for restaurants,

For locals Bonny and Ron Kerwin, they said it was time for those mandates to go.

Both said they still felt safe on Main Street Saturday.

“It’s time for things to start opening up a little more everyone’s getting vaccinated,” said Bonny.

For Boyd, he said he still has encouraged those attending to follow safety protocols. But said, he also thought it was time for the mask mandate to go.

“People have a choice to make and their own life to live,” he said.

City of North Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Pat Dowling told WMBF News there haven’t been any big issues regarding the event.

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