New Year’s Eve party in the works for downtown Myrtle Beach

dbryant@thesunnews.comJune 10, 2013 

The summer may just be heating up along Ocean Boulevard, but businesses there already are thinking about how the beach’s main drag will ring in 2014.

A New Year’s party will return to the Boulevard area, which has been without a big bash for the past few years since the success of a New Year’s street party that consumed Ocean Boulevard a few years ago.

While that event was put on by a private company, New Year’s 2014 downtown will be organized by the Oceanfront Merchants Association, which sponsors Hot Summer Nights, St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Oktoberfest.

“We are definitely working on that and budgeting for that now,” said Chris Walker, the association’s president. “We are just at the brainstorming phase now. We’ve got some good ideas.”

Organizers are still deciding whether the event will be a block party like the event a few years ago or a party set up in Plyler Park by the SkyWheel, and what role the boardwalk will play. Organizers also are considering lighting the boardwalk, fireworks and possibly a countdown clock on the digital screen outside the SkyWheel facing Plyler Park.

Downtown businesses have been working to lure more traffic to the Ocean Boulevard area during the typical slow winter season. In 2012, businesses sponsored a small “Christmas on the Boardwalk” aiming to get the effort going. Winter events can be tricky, though, because of the weather, Walker said.

“If you have a high of 33 [degrees] and rain and sleet, it can all be blown up,” he said.

Halloween is another holiday downtown businesses are aiming to tap. Walker, who owns Nightmare Haunted House among several other businesses along the Boulevard, envisions some of the downtown attractions adding a Halloween theme through decorations, and using spooky music and special effects, maybe through a fog machine, that could create a haunted atmosphere.

“Just do something fun,” Walker said.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at dbryant@thesunnews.com or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.

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