MYRTLE BEACH — The Sun Fun Festival, nixed by organizers this year, isnt on track to make a grand return in 2013.
No event planner or resident group has answered the call to overhaul the festival, said Richard Singleton, chairman of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, which had sponsored Sun Fun for 60 years to kick off the summer season but canceled it in 2012.
The chamber said the festival, known for quirky games such as human checkers, bands, beauty pageants and other entertainment, doesnt lure visitors to the beach as it once did and didnt pay for itself. The chamber said when it announced in April that it had canceled the festival that it planned to overhaul it and bring back a better Sun Fun in 2013.
The chamber wants partners to do that, though.
Earlier this summer, the chamber put out a request for proposals from event planners or others interested in running Sun Fun.
No response so far, Singleton said last week. We have received no interest. So far the community has been very silent.
Singleton said event planners need to have a unique idea, and the festivals cost needs to justify the results.
If we can do those two things, hopefully we can bring the festival back, Singleton said.
The Sun Fun Festival was created by the chamber and other local business owners 60 years ago to get media coverage and give visitors a reason to come to the beach during the first week of June.
Those were before the days of Pirates Voyage, Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing and all the other attractions that lure tourists now, Mark Lazarus, a chamber board member and owner of Wild Water & Wheels in Surfside Beach and the OD Pavilion Amusement Park in North Myrtle Beach, said earlier this summer.
We didnt have all those things going on, he said. We dont necessarily need those events now. We have amenities to draw visitors in.
Sun Fun had evolved from its original home along Myrtle Beachs oceanfront and in recent years was held in Grand Park near The Market Common. Through the years, the festival has had parades down Ocean Boulevard, air shows, beach volleyball tournaments, meet-and-greets with Disney and Nickelodeon teen stars, and concerts. About 11,500 people attended Sun Fun events in 2011, according to the chamber.
If Sun Fun is going to return in 2013, work on it needs to start soon, Singleton said.
Wed need to be starting the process very quickly, he said.
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