As rivers crest and communities flood, many across the Grand Strand face heartbreaking loss, displacement and the daunting prospect of repairing and rebuilding — some for the second and third time — and we have seen efforts by others to help in any way they can.
For those in need of some respite — those who are able to take a little time to recharge — here are our top five entertainment picks for the week.
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1. St. John’s Greek Festival
Where: St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 3301 33rd Ave. Ext. N., Myrtle Beach
When: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday noon-7 p.m.
More info: Opa! It’s time to celebrate Greek culture, food and entertainment for the 26th year on the Grand Strand. Explore a wonderland of Greek cuisine — including gyros, moussaka and stuffed grape leaves — a tantalizing array of Greek pastries, wine and beer — and ouzo for those adventurous souls with a taste for something stronger.
Shop for unique crafts from vendors and take in authentic Greek music and dance — and there are plenty of activities for the kids, too.
2. Thunder and Light
Where: The Carolina Opry, 8901 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach
Contact: 843-913-4000 or www.thecarolinaopry.com
When: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday
More info: If you prefer your entertainment break in the morning, The Carolina Opry has you covered with Thunder and Light — featuring the fancy footwork of the renowned clogging group ALL THAT! and the magic of The Wagsters, topped off with a jaw-dropping choreographed laser and light show.
ALL THAT! gained national visibility on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and have been performing at The Carolina Opry over the past decade. Husband-and-wife magic duo The Wagsters deliver their impressive blend of sleight of hand, audience involvement and dramatic escape — honed over 10 years and thousands of performances.
3. Montgomery Gentry
Where: House of Blues, Barefoot Landing, 4640 U.S. 17 South, North Myrtle Beach
Contact: 843-272-3000 or www.houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach
When: 7 p.m. (door), 8 p.m. (showtime) Saturday
Montgomery Gentry is known for country chart toppers like “Speed,” “Some People Change” and “Gone.”
After Troy Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash last year, Eddie Montgomery told Rolling Stone that he couldn’t imagine going onstage without him.
“I’m still waiting for him to chime in after me,” he said in the article. For now, the band is splitting up Gentry’s vocal parts. The show must go on, and it will do just that at House of Blues Myrtle Beach on Saturday.
4. Third Annual Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival
Where: 1420 Carver St., Myrtle Beach
When: Friday-Sunday (See website for performer schedule)
Cost: Free, rain or shine
More info: Smooth. Mellow. Festive. The Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival is touted as a free backyard jam, featuring an ever-growing and impressive lineup of local, regional and national performers — this year including Da-Voicez, Chocolate Chip & Company, Don Colton, James “Bull” Canty and many more.
The event has festival seating, so bring a lawn chair. Enjoy the beer and wine garden, food and merchandise vendors — and there will be a kids play area, too. Come find out why one Facebook fan calls this event the “new best-kept secret Myrtle Beach event.”
To keep the event free, donations are encouraged. Additional parking and shuttle service is available from TicketReturn.com Field/Pelicans Ballpark.
5. Jay Leno
Where: Alabama Theatre, Barefoot Landing, 4750 U.S. 17 South, North Myrtle Beach
Contact: 800-342-2262 or www.alabama-theatre.com
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
More info: Before finally passing the torch to Jimmy Fallon in 2014, Jay Leno spent a total of 17 years at the helm of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” after having been hand-picked by the iconic Johnny Carson.
A rabid vehicle collector, many also know Leno from NBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” (he currently boasts ownership of 169 cars and 117 motorcycles). He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2014, but he remains true to his roots as a standup comic — and books more than 100 standup appearances each year.
Thankfully, one of those appearances is right in our own back yard this Saturday.