There are so many free and cheap activities going on over the next few weeks, I had a really tough time narrowing my list to just a few. Here are some of the highlights.
• The Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association’s annual Home Show starts today and runs through Sunday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Adult tickets are $5 for one day; $10 for a three-day pass. Kids under 16 get in free. Parking is $3. This event includes home improvement, landscaping, and cooking seminars; demonstrations; and more than 200 vendors. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
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• La Belle Amie Vineyard at 1120 St. Joseph Road in Little River is hosting a Parrot Head Festival from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $8, but if you bring three canned goods to be donated to local food banks, they’ll give you a $3 discount. The festival includes live music, wine tasting, a gift shop, food and drink vendors, and a vineyard tour.
• The annual Palmetto Regional FIRST Robotics Competition begins today and runs through Saturday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Admission is free. Parking is $3. During the competition, dozens of high school teams will compete with robots that they designed and built. The doors open at 8 a.m.
• From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, all Home Depot locations are holding a free workshop for kids ages 5-12. The kids will be building a Trojan Horse Bank.
• On Sunday, Castano’s Italian Steakhouse in Barefoot Landing is holding an Academy Awards party. Admission is free. Attendees will get a chance to walk down the red carpet, have their pictures taken by the paparazzi, meet Ms. Jr. Teen United States, watch the Academy Awards on the big screen, win prizes for “best dressed,” and more. The party starts at 6 p.m.
• The annual Dick’s Last Resort Mardi Gras Parade will take place at Barefoot Landing beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is free. The parade will begin in the front parking lot by the mall marquee, wind through the shops, and end at Dick’s Last Resort with a Mardi Gras party. Parade participants will be tossing candy, beads and other trinkets along the way.
• In Murrells Inlet, the annual Marshi Gras party will begin at 5 p.m. at the restaurants along the Marsh Walk. Admission is free. This event includes food and drink specials, a parade (7 p.m.), live music, and a Mardi Gras costume contest. For more information, see marshwalk.com.