On the Cheap | Myrtle Beach area offers variety of inexpensive activities


They say variety is the spice of life. Those who subscribe to that will enjoy the interesting mix of free and cheap activities taking place over the next few weeks in the Myrtle Beach area. Here’s the list:

April 17-19

Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight, the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk is hosting a Battle of the Bands competition. Carolina Country Music Fest will select 24 bands to battle over three weekends (the finals are May 1) for a spot at the event. Six bands will perform each night. Admission is free.

The Omar Shrine “Smoke on the Beach BBQ” competition will take place on Friday and Saturday in the parking lot at Sea Mist Oceanfront. Admission is free. There is a cost to sample the barbecue. From 6-8 p.m. on Friday, there will be “Anything Butt Sampling.” From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, they will be selling barbecue plates and sandwich combos.

Art in the Park, an art show put on by the Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild, will be held in Valor Park on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Local artists will display a variety of artwork, including paintings, woodwork, photography, jewelry, fabric, glass, metal, pottery and stonework.

April 25-26

On Saturday, Ground Zero is holding its annual Dragon Boat Festival in Grand Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event includes dragon boat races, a free concert, a family fun zone, food vendors and a drummer costume contest. Admission is free.

The Socastee Heritage Festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Socastee Swing Bridge. Admission is free. This event includes live entertainment, food and craft vendors, a kids’ parade, living history exhibits, a catfish tournament, inflatables, kids’ games, contests, raffles and more.

On Saturday, Barefoot Landing is hosting the second annual Paddle for the Pets Build Your Own Boat Race and Festival. Admission is free. This event, which starts at noon, includes a build your own boat race, food vendors, live music, a furry fashion show, kids’ activities, prizes and more. All proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach.

The Seacost Artist Guild is holding an Arts & Crafts Festival in Valor Park on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Artists will display handmade items, including photography, drawings, painted arts, jewelry, pottery and items made from stone, wood and glass.

JULIE HENRY is a freelance writer, editor and project manager. She owns and operates Myrtle Beach on the Cheap: www.myrtlebeachonthecheap.com.