Summer plans taking shape for old Pavilion site

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – As summer approaches, seasonal plans for the old Pavilion site in Myrtle Beach are taking shape.

Burroughs and Chapin still owns the land, but while there are no immediate development plans, the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation leases the site. That year-to-year lease agreement began last year when the DRC subleased part of the oceanfront lot for a company to operate a giant inflatable water slide.

That slide will not be back this year. DRC Executive Director David Sebok said the organization is now more focused on expanding the special events hosted on the site.

"The DRC decided not to pursue private entertainment ventures like we had last year with the giant inflatable water slide," Sebok said. "We have had numerous inquiries from other slide operators and also different kinds of attractions that would love to be on that site, but we feel it's too special a site - right on the boardwalk, right on the ocean - that it serves a better public purpose by being made available for festivals, concerts and special events like that."

Some of the new events on the old Pavilion site this summer include military band concerts every Friday night in May as part of Military Appreciation Days. A replica of the Vietnam War memorial wall will also be on display at the site May 25-27.

On Saturday, May 21st the Beach Blast Christian music festival will move to the old Pavilion site, and a separate Christian music concert series will run on the site every Sunday night between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.

"It's really just going to be a great night on Sundays to come down, enjoy the boardwalk, enjoy the businesses and hear some great music from national and local talent," commented Scott Payseur with the Ground Zero ministry that is helping organize the concert series.

The sand volleyball courts the DRC created last year are still in place on the site, and soon they will have nets back up ready for public play. A small stage for live music near the 9th Avenue North beach access will also still be in place.

Events such as the Beach Music Festival will also return to the site this summer.

"I think they're looking for things to come down here," Payseur said. "I think they're wanting some healthy events to come in, to liven it up a little bit."

Sebok said that is true, and the DRC is open to more possibilities. He said the DRC is getting more interest from people who would like to use the Old Pavilion site for special events.

"Those type of pick-up things happen throughout the summer as people come to town or continue to think of ideas," Sebok said. "We would love for something to happen on the ocean front side or the larger old amusement park side, all the time. It just takes time for people to become aware of the availability, what the criteria are, and to go through the various application procedures."

Sebok said he has also gotten some interest in having a beach volleyball tournament on the courts. Others have expressed interest in putting together other festivals or installing semi-permanent structures that can host more concerts. Details involving any of those possibilities would be worked out in the coming weeks.

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