May is just around the corner, and brings with it a slew of events and visitors. How the events play out and our reaction to them could determine not just their individual success, but our reputation as a tourist destination and the repeat business of the hundreds of thousands who will grace our shores this coming month.
Here’s what’s coming:
The annual spring Harley-Davidson rally is scheduled for May 13-19, though the tens of thousands of choppers will likely start showing up the weekend before.
Riders coming to Atlantic Beach’s Bikefest will start rolling into town May 23.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations take place across town May 3-5.
Other celebrations and get-togethers fill every weekend: The Little River Blue Crab festival, North Myrtle Beach’s Mayfest on Main, Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days, the Beach Blast Music Festival and more. Right after May ends, Coastal Uncorked begins June 3.
Facing such busy times ahead, we dug back in our archives and found this credo first published 15 years ago this week for events such as these, for our visitors and ourselves. It still holds true:
1. Visitors should be treated with the same respect and the same authority as we locals should be treated. Visitors should respect our traditions and regulations. It is necessary in a tourist community to enforce laws, and visitors should expect to stay within those bounds.
2. Locals should expect to encounter different events, different lifestyles and different cultures on these weekends, much as we expect to encounter differences all during the summer in less density. We should welcome the visitors with our respect.
3. If public behavior that you see must be reported, do so, but don’t pass on to each other or to authorities any second-hand and, worse, third-party accounts of alleged misdeed. Rumors make situations more difficult. Just be sure of your facts.
This is our beach, but it is the public’s beach, too. It is that of our visitors, as well as our own. Both groups can surely use courtesy, patience, mindfulness, cheerfulness, respect and tolerance for diversity to see us all through.
Let us sincerely welcome visitors here to live well and play happily under the general rules with which we live.
Respect, more than any other attribute, should define our May.