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‘It’s a blessing’: Myrtle Beach gives green light to 2021 Sun Fun Festival

Updated: Apr. 27, 2021 at 9:32 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Sun Fun Festival is officially a go for 2021.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Myrtle Beach City Councill approved a special event permit for the event, which is set to take place June 4 to June 6 at Plyler Park and the beachfront, and on the boardwalk between 8th Avenue North and Mr. Joe White Avenue.

The 2021 Sun Fun Festival will feature a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, starting at 8th Avenue North and heading north on Ocean Boulevard to 15th Avenue North, according to information from the city.

There will also be live bands, performers, games and vendors. The event is free and open to the public.

A Myrtle Beach staple since the 1950s, the Sun Fun Festival was discontinued in 2011 due to funding issues.

The festival was revived in 2016 after a five-year absence. The 2020 event was canceled, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event is put on by the Gay Dolphin and the Oceanfront Merchants Association.

Michelle Plyler, the general manager of Gay Dolphin, said she’s excited to be able to bring back the iconic festival for Myrtle Beach locals and tourists.

“It’s taken a while to grow it and after a year of getting canceled it’s a blessing to be able to have it back and we’re excited to get this year going,” Plyler said.

The event will also help businesses along the boardwalk that have suffered during the pandemic.

Justin Brown, a bartender at Hurricanes Daiquiri Bar and Grill, said they lost revenue after having to temporarily shut down and then they had to stop selling alcohol past 11 p.m.

Now that the Last Call order has been lifted, Brown said business has picked up a lot especially during Spring Break.

With summer tourism around the corner and events like the Sun Fun Festival, he expects business to get even better.

“It’s going to be tremendous for it,” Brown said. “Anything you can do to encourage people to get back to a normal way of life after what we’ve been through as a country will do great for everybody.”

Myrtle Beach City Council also granted special event permits to the Coastal Highland Games for June 5, as well as the Independence Day 5K race slated for July 3.

“Overall these events are very, very important to build community, create a sense of unity, make those folks that live here in Myrtle Beach have a chance to connect with each other after almost of year of not being able to do that,” Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Riordan said.

Unfortunately, the Golden Knights Parachute Team won’t be performing at the Sun Fun Festival this year due to the pandemic, but there will be a sand sculpture contest.

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