Can-Am Days cued up to celebrate across Strand

spalisin@thesunnews.comMarch 2, 2014 

A Canadian flag flies along side the American and South Carolina flags on the Ocean Blvd. side of the Camelot by the sea resort on Wednesday March 5, 2008. Photo by Steve Jessmore sjessmore@thesunnews.com

STEVE JESSMORE — The Sun News Buy Photo

  • If you go

    What | 53rd annual Canadian American Days festival

    By | Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

    When | Friday-March 16

    Schedule |

    Welcome by the Consulate General of Canada, from Atlanta, with information booth 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridayat Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, at 1200 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach.

    Concert series kickoff, 6 p.m. March 10 at Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach, with performers including the Burlington Teen Tour Band ( www.teentourband.org), Searson (two sisters from the Ottawa Valley -- Erin and Colleen Searson – www.searsonband.com), and the Andrew Thielen Big Band, from Myrtle Beach.

    Burlington Teen Tour Band community concerts, noon March 12 at Myrtle Beach mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, near Briarcliffe Acres (272-4040 or www.mymyrtlebeach.com); 10 a.m. March 13 at Inlet Square, at U.S. 17 Bypass and U.S. 17 in Murrells Inlet (651-6990 or www.inletsquaremall.com); and noon March 14 at Coastal Grand mall, accessed from U.S. 17 Bypass, Seaboard Street, Pine Island Road or Harrelson Boulevard in Myrtle Beach (839-9100 or www.coastalgrand.com).

    Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach, at 3 p.m. March 16 at First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach, 901 N. Kings Highway (U.S. 17 Business). 361-1942. (Also, 7 p.m. March 21 in North Myrtle Beach’s J. Bryan Floyd Community Center, 1030 Possum Trot Road, for free.)

    How much | Free

    Information | 626-7444, 800-356-3016 or www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/things-to-do/events/can-am-days

    Some other outings during Can-Am Days

    ON STAGE

    “One the Show” at Alabama Theatre, at Barefoot Landing, on U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach, 7:30 p.m. March 2-8, 10-15, 17-21, 23-28 and 30-31 – for, plus tax, $31.90, $38.25 or $43.75 for ages 17 and older, and $16.40 ages 16 and younger (also for March-April, free admission for as many as two children, 16 or younger, with a paid adult ticket). Also, Rick Alviti & His Showband Tribute to Elvis, 7 p.m. March 16, for, including tax, $27.40 or $34.95; and Kingston Trio, 7 p.m. March 22, for $29.95, $34.95 or $39.95. 272-1111, 800-342-2262 or www.alabama-theatre.com.

    Calvin Gilmore Theater, on U.S. 17 Business at U.S. 17 Bypass on north tip of Myrtle Beach: “The Carolina Opry” 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through March; and “The Good Vibrations Show,” 7 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays through March. Each show, plus tax: $34.95, $45.95 or $49.95 for ages 17 and older, $17 ages 3-16; and $23 for students with ID. Also, “Light – See the Music” laser show extravaganza, for (plus tax) $15 ages 17 and older, and $12 ages 3-16 and students – call for times and days. 913-4000, 800-843-6779 or www.thecarolinaopry.com.

    Legends in Concert, on U.S. 17 Bypass, off 29th Avenue North at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, with tribute artists to the Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley. Shows resume Feb. 7. Times through March: 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Tuesdays. Plus tax: $37.95 or $42.95 for ages 17 and older, and $13.95 or $18.95 ages 3-16; booth $48.95 and $23.95, respectively per age group; and VIP $45.95 for all. 238-7827, 800-960-7469 or www.legendsinconcert.com.

    Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, 2904 Fantasy Way, close to U.S. 501 and George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach and Intracoastal Waterway: 6 p.m. March 4, 7, 10-14, 16-21, 23 and 25-31, and 5 and 7:30 p.m. March 8, 15 and 22. Through March, plus tax: $36.95 (regularly $51.95) ages 13 and older, $23.95 ($25.95) ages 3-12; free ages 2 and younger on parent’s lap, with code 152WEB at time of purchase. 236-4635, 800-436-4386 or www.medievaltimes.com/myrtlebeach.aspx.

    Palace Theatre, at U.S. 17 Bypass and 21st Avenue North at Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach. “Hot Jersey Nights” Frankie Valli tribute through May 31: 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. Wednesdays – $29.95 ages 13 and older, and $9.95 ages 3-12. “Illusions of Magic” March 4-Sept. 27, at these times through May: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, and through April, 2 p.m. Thursdays – $34.95, $39.95 or $44.95 ages 13 and older, matinees $29.95; and $9.95 ages 12 or younger for all shows. 448-0588, 888-841-2787 or www.palacemb.com.

    “Pirates Voyage Dinner Attraction,” on U.S. 17 Bypass, near northern junction of U.S. 17 Business in Myrtle Beach, 6 p.m. March 5, 7, 8, 10-15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 29 and 31. $49.04 or $54.49 ages 12 and older, $23.97 or $29.42 ages 4-11. 497-9700, 800-433-4401 or www.piratesvoyage.com.

    “The Cemetery Club” play, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, and 3 p.m. Saturday, at Oceanside Village, 1711 U.S. 17 Business S., Garden City Beach, off Melody Lane – across from Tupelo Bay Golf Center and Bi-Lo, for $12. 650-4440.

    Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park,” 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Stage Left Theatre Company, 3064 DeVille St., Myrtle Beach, in The Market Common, Myrtle Beach, between Nevers and Lewis streets. $15 advance, $18 at door. 232-0339 or www.stagelefttheatremb.com.

    “The Constant Wife,” by Swamp Fox Players, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and March 13-15, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through March 16, at Strand Theater, 710 Front St., Georgetown. $15. 527-2924 or www.swampfoxplayers.com.

    ”Monty Python’s ‘SpamALot,’” by Theatre of the Republic, through March 16: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, at Main Street Theatre, 335 Main St., Conway. $21. 488-0821 or www.theatreoftherepublic.com.

    Carolina Improv Company, at Uptown Theater in Myrtle Beach mall, at U.S. 17 and S.C. 22, at 7:30 p.m.: “Whose Beach Is It Anyway?” – Thursdays through March, and on March 8 and 29; “Whose Night Out Is It Anyway” – for adults – Fridays through March; and “St. Patty’s Day Musical Improv,” March 15. Each $12.75 advance online, or $14 at door. 272-4242 or www.carolinaimprov.com.

    Carolina Comedy Club, at Broadway at the Beach’s Celebrity Square, off 29th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach. Shows 8 p.m. (also 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays): Nick Vatterott, March 4-8; and Dave Waite, March 11-15. Each $15. 839-2565 or www.carolinacomedyclub.com.

    Comedy Cabana, 9588 N. Kings Highway, just north of Myrtle Beach. Shows 8 p.m. (also 10:15 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays): Jackie “The Jokeman” Martling, March 6-8, for $23 or $25; and Basile, March 11-15, and Drew Thomas, March 18-22, each $15. 449-4242 or www.comedycabana.com.

    “Shrek the Musical,” 7 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, at Socastee High School, on S.C. 707, near Dick Pond Road. $12 or $17. 293-9041 or www.socasteeperformingarts.com.

    “Fame the Musical,” 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday, at St. James High School, at S.C. 707 and Salem Road, in Burgess community, for $8. 650-5600.

    Long Bay Symphony’s “An Evening at the Opera,” with Kirstin Chavez, mezzo-soprano, Carolina Master Chorale ( www.caroinamasterchorale.com), and Litchfield Ballet Company of Litchfield Beach, 4 p.m. March 9 at Myrtle Beach High School, on Grissom Parkway, between 29th and 38th avenues North. $40, $45 or $50, and $15 for students 22 and younger with ID. Join Maestro Charles Jones Evans at 3:15 p.m. in school cafeteria for pre-concert talk. 448-8379 or www.longbaysymphony.com.

    Rivertown Bluegrass Society, 5 p.m. March 15 with The Morris Brothers (5 and 7:20 p.m.) and Subject To Change Band (6 and 8:20 p.m.), at Horry-Georgetown Technical College Burroughs & Chapin Auditorium, off U.S. 501 in Conway. $12 ages 12 and older, otherwise free. 457-2854 or www.rivertownbluegrasssociety.com.

    Fourth annual “Laugh Out Loud!” Comedy Show, benefitting Conway Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of Conway, 3 p.m. March 16 in Coastal Carolina University’s Wheelwright Auditorium, off U.S. 501 in Conway, with Basile, Cooter Douglas, Drew Thomas and Manny Oliveira. $20. 248-2273 or www.lolcomedyshow.org.

    Coastal Carolina University, on main campus in Conway: “Piano Series,” with Bennie Woods, at 4 p.m. March 16 in Edwards Recital Hall. $5 general; $3 CCU/Horry-Georgetown Technical College students, faculty and staff; and free for children; and “Choral Masterworks,” with CCU Concert and Chamber Choirs and voice faculty, and Long Bay Symphony, 7:30 p.m. March 18 in Wheelwright Auditorium. $5 general; $3 CCU/HGTC students, faculty and staff; and free for children. 349-2787 or www.coastal.edu/culturalarts.

    FESTIVALS

    Town of Surfside Beach: BBQ Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday on Surfside Drive, with concerts by Sawgrass 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and Josh Brannon Band 2-4 p.m., and free children’s inflatable rides; and St. Patrick’s Day Dance, 7-10 p.m. March 15 in Dick Johnson Civic Center, behind town hall, on U.S. 17 Business, just north of Surfside Drive -- reservations required. 650-9548 or www.surfsidebeach.org.

    La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 St. Joseph Road, Little River, just west of North Myrtle Beach Middle School: Remember When Oldies Fest, noon -5 p.m. Saturday, including music by The Holiday Band and Johnny Cobb, for $8; and “St. Pat’s Music & Bonfire,” 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 15, including music 12:30-4:30 p.m. by The Stringwood Band, for $3. Save $3 for either fest with donation of two canned/dry good items for area food banks. 399-9463 or www.labelleamie.com.

    Conway Downtown Alive’s annual “Gathering of the Green,” 5-9 pm. March 14, including “Taste of Conway,” on Third Avenue in downtown Conway. Free; buy taste tickets on site. 248-6260 or www.conwayalive.com.

  • Fifth annual Irish Fest, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 15 in Myrtle Beach’s Valor Memorial Garden, by The Market Common. 839-3500 or www.marketcommonmb.com, and www.myrtlebeachbeerfest.com.

    Oceanfront Merchant Association’s annual Downtown Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, noon-midnight March 15 on Ocean Boulevard between Eighth and 11th avenues North, with concerts, including Elise Testone. Free. 421-9848 or www.mbdowntownstpats.com.

    OTHER CELEBRATIONS

    31st National Shag Dance Championships, 8 p.m. Thursday, for $15; and 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, for $20 and $25, respectively; at Spanish Galleon, in OD Beach & Golf Resort, 98 North Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach. 222-6706 or www.shagnationals.com.

    American Red Cross Coastal S.C. Chapter “Princess Gala” breakfast, 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Travinia Italian Kitchen, in Myrtle Beach, then parade led by knights from Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament through The Market Common to red carpet entrance to Grand 14 Cinema to meet Prince Charming and see a princess movie. $25. 477-0020 or www.redcross.org/sc/myrtle-beach.

    Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum 14th annual Spring Tour of Homes, six sites across Myrtle Beach, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. $40 advance or $45 day of tour, available from museum, 3100 S. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, across from Midway Par 3 and Springmaid Beach Resort. Optional buffet luncheon 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club, for $17. Also, museum open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays, with free admission, see “Julyan Davis: Appalachian Ballads,” through March 16; “I, the Writer: A Collection of Mickey Spillane Memorabilia,” March 12-April 20; and “FiberArt International 2013” and “State of the Art: Recent Acquisitions from the Permanent Collection,” both through April 24. 238-2510 or www.myrtlebeachartmuseum.org.

    Cruise-ins, by Hot Rod Promotions (503-8245), noon-3 p.m. March 9 at Cheesesteak U, 1867 S.C. 544, Conway; and Myrtle Beach Car Club (742-9802), 11 a.m.-2 p.m. March 15 at Aroma’s (Pizza, Pasta & Subs), 10799 S.C. 707, Murrells Inlet. Free.

    26th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, by city of North Myrtle Beach, March 15 on Main Street:: parade 9 a.m., festival 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 280-5605, 280-5570 or www.stpatsnmb.com.

    Coastal Youth Ballet Theatre’s “An Afternoon Tea with Cinderella,” 2 p.m. March 16 at Coastal Dance Centre, 3070 DeVille St., Myrtle Beach, in The Market Common, for $15 advance only, by March 14 – previewing performances of “Cinderella” 7 p.m. March 27-28 and 4 p.m. March 29-30, at Beach Church, 557 George Bishop Parkway, just west of Myrtle Beach. Advance by March 22: $15 ages 13-64, $10 ages 3-12 and 65 and older, otherwise $20 and $15, respectively. 839-5678 or www.cybt.org.

    Weekly senior dances, 7-10 p.m. Fridays in Myrtle Beach’s Base Recreation Center, 800 Gabreski Drive, near The Market Common, with DJ Ed Brown supplying music on March 7 and 21, and DJs Jack and Rosalie Drust on March 14 and 28, and April 4 and 11. Each $7. 918-2381 or www.cityofmyrtlebeach.com.

    Social dances, by USA Dance Grand Strand Chapter 6024, in St. Patrick’s Day theme, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, at Myrtle Beach’s Base Recreation Center, for $7 members, otherwise $10 (808-3397 or www.usadancegrandstrand.org); and Grand Strand Beach Social Dancers, in “Phantom of the Opera” theme, with music by Harlequin, 7 p.m. March 15 at Grand Strand Senior Center, 1268 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach. $7. 903-3765.

    Third annual Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery St. Patrick’s Day 5K Kilt Run, from eatery, off 29th Avenue North at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, March 16: 1-mile family fun run ($15 registration -- or free with paid entry into 5K) at 8:30 a.m., 5K run/walk ($25 by 5 p.m. March 14, otherwise $30) at 9 a.m., with party afterward, including Irish breakfast buffet for participants ($10 for others). Register at www.grandstrandrunner.com/race.aspx?id=111, or 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. March 15 in Tilted Kilt or at 7 a.m. March 16 at race site.

    St. Patrick’s Day Party, noon-5 p.m. March 17 at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10420, 4359 U.S. 17 Bypass, Murrells Inlet, with meals of corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie for sale. Reservations at 651-6900.

    ART, HISTORY AND OUTDOORS

    “Katharine Wright: The Other Wright Brother” exhibit, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, March 7-April 26, at North Myrtle Beach Area Historical Museum, 799 Second Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach. Free with admission – $5 ages 19-59, $4 ages 60 and older, $3 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and younger. 427-7668 or www.nmbmuseum.com.

    “Maura Kenny: Out of Hobcaw” solo exhibition, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, March 10-April 4 -- with opening reception 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 20, after gallery talk at 2 p.m. -- in Coastal Carolina University’s Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery, in Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, on main campus in Conway. Free. 349-6454 (call to arrange up-close parking for anyone with a disability or mobility matter) or www.coastal.edu/bryanartgallery.

    Brookgreen Gardens, on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach: Exhibits “Equine Spirit: The Horse in American Art” exhibit, through April 20, and “Sojun tu Gullah Geechee” (“Sojourn to Gullah Geechee”), a traveling exhibit from Geechee Kunda Center, in Riceboro, Ga., noon-4:30 p.m. daily through March 16, free with admission, which lasts seven days: $14 ages 13-64, $12 ages 65 and older, and $7 ages 4-12. Also, cooking demos, 4 p.m. Wednesdays in March, for $25 extra ($20 members) – reservations at 235-6016. More details at 235-6000, 800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org.

    Myrtle Beach State Park, open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, with programs for March, most in nature center (open as of March 5: 1-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays), and all free with park admission ($5 ages 16 and older, $3.25 S.C. seniors, $3 ages 6-15): “Backyard Bird ID,” for ages 8 and older, 2-2:30 p.m. Wednesdays; “A Stroll Back in Time,” for ages 12 and older, 2-2:45 p.m. Fridays starting March 14, on pier; “Feeding Time” with snake, 2-2:30 p.m. Saturdays starting March 8; “What Dwells in a Shell?” 2-2:30 p.m. Sundays starting March 9; “Cast Away!” for ages 10 and older, 3:30-4:15 p.m. Thursdays starting March 13; and “’Sea’ What’s on the Menu,” aquarium feeding, 3:30-3:40 p.m. Sundays starting March 9. 238-0874 or www.myrtlebeachsp.com.

    Hobcaw Barony, on U.S. 17, just north of Georgetown: “Birding for Beginners” 3-4:30 p.m. Thursdays in March, with field trip 7-11 a.m. March 28, for $75; Discovery (welcome) Center, open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, for free; barony tours, including Hobcaw House, at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, for $20; “Hike Hobcaw,” 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, for $25; Bellefield Plantation tour, 1-3 p.m. Saturday, for $20; “Hobcaw Beach” walking tour, 1:30-4:30 p.m. March 14, for $20; “1861 Days” Civil War re-enactors in hourlong presentations 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 15, $10 ages 12 and older, otherwise free; and “Women’s History Month Cruise,” led by Lee Brockington, historian and author, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. March 18 – bring a picnic lunch and folding chair, for $50. Registration required for all programs at 546-4623. More details at www.hobcawbarony.org.

    Huntington Beach State Park | on U.S. 17, between Murrells Inlet and Litchfield Beach, open 6 a.m.-8 p.m. March 3-April 6, then until 10 p.m. through Nov. 2. Many events free with park admission: $5 plus park admission: $5 ages 16 and older, $3.25 S.C. seniors, $3 ages 6-15. 238-5325 or www.southcarolinaparks.com/huntingtonbeach:

    Atalaya open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily for self-guided tours, for $2 extra fee (also, docent tours at 2 p.m. Sundays-Fridays and noon Saturdays through October, free with admission to home), and optional 45-minute audio tour $4.

    “A Grand Tea Party,” by Friends of Huntington Beach State Park (650-6666 or www.huntingtonbeachstatepark.com), celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversary of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, 1-4 p.m. March 10 in Atalaya, for $5 extra.

    “Coastal Kayaking,” 10 a.m.-noon Mondays through October, in guided salt-marsh tour from Oyster Landing in Murrells Inlet. $35. Register at 235-8755 by 4 p.m. the previous Sunday.

    “Feeding Frenzy,” 11-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays-Sundays in nature center.

    “Living Off the Land” guided walk,” 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays through May.

    “Secrets of the Salt Marsh,” 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays through May, from marsh boardwalk.

    “Coastal Birding,” 10-11 a.m. Wednesdays through October, from causeway parking lot.

    Hike with a Ranger,” 2.5 miles, 2-4 p.m. Fridays through May, from North Beach parking lot.

    “Jetty Adventure,” 2.5-mile guided walk, 10 a.m.-noon Saturdays through May.

    “Snakes and Reptiles,” 4-5 p.m. Saturdays through October in nature center, for $3 extra, in advance from park store.

    Annual “South Strand Wildlife and History Day,” noon-5 p.m. March 15 -- activities include Camp Flintlock, a group of colonial re-enactors; Atalaya tours ($2 fee ages 6 and older); a free-flight raptor demonstration at 1 p.m.; and programs on alligators, beachcombing, sea creatures, snakes, and folklore and ghost stories told in Atalaya basement.

    “Atalaya Sleepover,” 5 p.m. March 29-10:30 a.m. March 30 – reserve by 5 p.m. March 21: $50 ages 16 and older, $30 ages 7-15, and free ages 6 and younger.

    Canada, by the numbers

    10 – Provinces – Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland (including Labrador), Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

    Three – Territories – Yukon, Northwest Territories, and since April 1999, Nunavut

    About 33.8 million – population

    More than $680 billion – in goods and services trade with the United States in 2011 -- in the world’s largest trade relationship between two countries

    1867 – Year of Canada’s confederation as a dominion from Great Britain, on July 1, starting with provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec – celebrated as “Canada Day”

    22 – People who have served as prime minister, starting with Sir John Alexander Macdonald (1867-73 and 1878-91), through Stephen Harper, since 2006

    Five – Great Lakes shared with the United States, all bordering the province of Ontario: Superior (with the states of Wisconsin and Michigan), Huron (state of Michigan), St. Clair (Michigan), Erie (states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York), and Ontario (New York). (Lake Michigan straddles Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan)

    29 – All the lives lost on the iron ore freighter Edmund Fitzgerald, which capsized Nov. 10, 1975, in a storm on Lake Superior, on its way to Cleveland, as memorialized in a Gordon Lightfoot hit, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”

    More than 250,000 – lakes in province of Ontario

    150 – Lighthouses in Nova Scotia

    One – Province that does not shift to daylong-saving time, Saskatchewan, which remains on Central Standard Time

    Half – of the world’s polar bears live in Nunavut, which covers one-fifth of Canada’s land mass

    Second – in land size – behind only Russia – with 3.851 million square miles, reaching into the Arctic Circle

    More than 1 million – Turnout for Calgary Stampede every summer

    Two – National sports – hockey (in winter) and lacrosse (summer)

    25 – Olympic medals won last month in Sochi, Russia – fourth on the list, with 10 gold and silver each, and five bronze

    Seven – Olympic gold medals won since 2002 by men’s and women’s hockey teams, of the eight available (Sweden won men’s title in 2006)

    One-third – of the “Original Six” NHL teams -- Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs (besides the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers)

    Two – Figure skaters who claimed back-to-back Olympic silver medals – Brian Orser (1984 and ’88) and Elvis Stojko (1994 and ’98); also, pair Isabelle Brasseur and Lloyd Eisler brought home bronze in 1992 and ’94

As the United States and Canada continue their world-leading relationship in trade of goods and services, Myrtle Beach also hoists the Maple Leaf flag, especially every March, to honor all the vacationers from north of the border.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce will celebrate its 53rd annual Canadian American Days festival March 7-16, including a series of free concerts across the Grand Strand – 6 p.m. March 10 at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, then taking turns near or at midday March 12-14 at all three area malls. The Burlington Teen Tour Band, a globetrotting marching band from the Hamilton area of Ontario, near Toronto, will entertain at all four sites.

Festive Brass of Myrtle Beach also will perform for free at 3 p.m. March 16 at First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach, 901 N. Kings Highway.

Two spokesmen for the chamber – Brad Dickerson and Kema Faulk – looked at some aspects about Can-Am Days and its celebration of Canadians’ culture and appreciation of their presence as a major component of Grand Strand tourism, especially every winter.

Question | Keeping this tradition going, how has Can-Am Days transformed with the times, for it remains a rite of every winter’s end, heralding St. Patrick’s Day and the start of spring?

Dickerson | It really is, and at about this time, we’re starting to see some warmer weather, which is great. It’s a great celebration for our visitors from the North. A lot of them have been coming for decades. Obviously, they have been experiencing a pretty cold winter as a lot of this country has. It gives them a chance to ... see old friends ... and get a break from the cold weather. We want to give them a new experience and a new set of memories to go home with.

Q. | How easily does lining up entertainers, such as the Burlington Teen Tour Band and the siblings of Searson come in the planning for every Can-Am Days?

Dickerson | A lot of them have been coming for years. ... The people at the concerts see them have a great time with us, and we’re always happy to have them back.

Q. | How ideal is the timing for a weekend of St. Patrick’s’ Day festivities?

Dickerson | It’s fantastic. With Can-Am Days going through March 16, the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations ... are always a big event in the Myrtle Beach area, ... and we’ll have several major events going on. ... It’s the best of both worlds, and a great way to kick off the spring season.

Q. | Where does marketing of Myrtle Beach target in general?

Dickerson | A lot of the marketing is east of the Mississippi, and into the Toronto area – we’ve had a push up in that area. Also, a lot of the Northeast states have seen a lot of hard winter weather lately. ... We’re always looking to grow our effort in that region.

Q. | With WestJet about to launch its second year of direct flights between Myrtle Beach International Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport – starting Thursday with trips on Thursdays and Sundays – how does that help open another channel for easy access to the Grand Strand?

Dickerson | WestJet is starting its service earlier this year, and that’s a great way for promotion of the destinations and to get more folks to come down to see Myrtle Beach. It’s a great partnership to help us for future years.

Q. | When do thoughts about the next year’s Can-Am Days hit your mind?

Faulk | We’re always brainstorming to see what we can do ... to have a different theme so we won’t be repeating the same things every year.

Q. | How much extra red and white for the Maple Leaf flag come out at this time of year?

Faulk | Every year, we order Canadian flags, and lots of Canadian flag lapel pins to give away.

Dickerson | There’s nothing like a nice little memento.

Q. | This year, did watching any of the Olympic hockey – in which the Canadian women’s and men’s teams repeated as gold-medal winners – help fuel enthusiasm for Can-Am Days coming up?

Dickerson | I did keep up with hockey games. It was very exciting, with some great matchups and great games. As I was watching, ... I was thinking about Can-Am Days in the back of my mind.

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

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