An all-day celebration next Sunday will add only more seasoning to the flavor of summer beach life in the heart of Myrtle Beach.
The Native Sons Salt Games will play out in the city’s Plyler Park, at North Ocean Boulevard and Mr. Joe White Avenue, and on the beachfront there. Look at this at kind of an X Games in a beach theme, but with lifeguard relays, volleyball, paddleboards, salt shakers, bikinis, yoga and two concerts among the key ingredients.
Amellia Diemer, marketing and events director of Native Sons Screen Print & Embroidery, a printer of T-shirts in a 56,000-square-foot site on Executive Avenue in Myrtle Beach, said the company coordinated The Salt Games simply to celebrate summertime fun, in a benefit for the Surfrider Foundation Grand Strand Chapter.
The competitions, many of which are open to local residents and vacationers alike, Diemer said, include the headline-event Lifeguard Games for which the public can watch and cheer and pits employees from all six local beach services against one another in four-person relays, including running and swimming.
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The Salt Games also will close the formal celebration of the 75th anniversaries of city of Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, begun with the Beach Music Festival this Saturday, on Ocean Boulevard, between Eighth and Ninth avenues North. Diemer also credited both of those entities with co-sponsoring The Salt Games.
“People who are down at the beach will have a fun-packed weekend,” she said.
Question | How’d this concept for The Salt Games day come up, and how was the timing made for this peak time of summer, on the heels of Fourth of July week?
Answer | Steve Taylor of Native Sons came up with the idea. He has always been an active member in the community, and Native Sons has not hosted an event since the Surf and Spike. It was the perfect time for a new event. The timing of The Salt Games just happened to fall in the middle of the summer; we may decide to move it earlier into the season next year.”
Q. | Besides the skill and strength tests for local lifeguards, what activities will let the public enter, and perhaps, flash some muscle and might on the beach?
A. | We’ll have a paddleboard race ... and we’ll be giving away a free paddleboard to someone just for participating. ... In the volleyball tournament, the prize for first place is $1,000. ... And in the boots and bikini contest, the first-place prize is $500. We also have a few other smaller, fun events, such as the Sea Salt Margarita Challenge, and the Salt Shaker Challenge. And we’ll have a community yoga class at 9 a.m.
Q. | How was this array of activities lined up, in such a scenic place in the shadows of the SkyWheel?
A. | Native Sons wanted to do something that showcased local talent in the Myrtle Beach area. Not many tourists get to have the “local experience” while visiting on vacation.
Q. | How big might the crowds get?
A. | We're expecting 700 to 1,700 in Plyler Park. It could be more with all of the visitors on the beach; you know how crazy it can get in the summertime.
Q. | Do The Salt Games harbor the potential to become an signature rite of summer for the Grand Strand?
A. | We’re hoping so; we’re just kind of getting our feet wet here. We’re hoping to expand this to a two-day event.