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Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival returns in style with COVID safety precautions in place

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 6:38 AM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival returned this weekend with safety precautions in place after it was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attendees had the chance to enjoy the sounds of bluegrass music while viewing artistic displays ranging from canvases and sculptures.

The festival was held at the Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, right where the antique castle stands. Thousands of people flooded the event in hopes of finding entertainment as the the pandemic continues.

This year, the event was held outdoors to keep everyone safe. Many of the artists were from across the United States, but one local artist had the chance to participate.

“Everybody seems to be enjoying so much that is easy for people to pick up and play and learn to play,” said Myrtle Beach local Karen Edgar.

Edgar creates realistic portraits but she is known for her cigar box guitars.

“I have people from years in the past that will just come and say hello. We see people from out of town and local people,” said Edgar.

Park manager Brenda Magers says attendance is up by 40%. With crowds pouring, the park enforced COVID safety measures like social distancing.

“We moved an entire section outside so the food, the outdoor music, and some of our artists are outside the building,” said Magers. “That gives a lot of people more space. All of the artists are six-feet apart and we have hand sanitizer for all the entrances.”

The event comes as COVID-19 remains a reality across the state.

A Conway Medical Center spokesperson says as of Friday, they have 39 COVID patients and 35 of them are unvaccinated.

But despite COVID, many locals are trying to smell the fresh air and enjoy an outdoor festival.

“As a park manager, I just love seeing people enjoying the park and they are smiling and is just a relax event,” said Magers.

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