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Spring up for festival season across the Myrtle Beach area

After a dreary and cold winter, celebrating the sunshine and warmth of spring will be a welcomed change. What better way to embrace the season than heading outdoors and attending a festival or two?

Gathering with friends and family to celebrate a holiday, experience new food or drink, or to further explore a hobby or music genre are just a few ways in which festivals create community and offer a fun environment for trying something new.

The Grand Strand enthusiastically ushers in the spring season with a long list of festivals celebrating everything from beer and BBQ to art, music and mother earth. While spring doesn’t technically start until March 20, we’re starting the party early.

With several popular St. Patrick’s Day festivals and an inaugural BBQ cook off festival at the MarshWalk, residents and tourists alike will have plenty of opportunities to escape cabin fever this weekend and experience a taste of spring.

Whether you’re looking for a fresh, exciting festival to check out, or ready to meet up with friends and family at an annual gathering, there are plenty of opportunities for exploring the beauty of the Myrtle Beach area and its community this season.

Here is an inclusive look at festivals happening this spring in the Grand Strand.

Gathering of the Green

• March 13, 5-8 p.m., Third Avenue in downtown Conway; free admission



Celebrate the luck of the Irish at this gathering in downtown Conway. Local restaurants will be offering signature and Irish-themed food items for purchase and live music will be provided by Sound Effect.

Love to play games? Partake in their pickle-eating contest, cabbage bowling, or a round of Irish musical chairs. A silent auction will be held as well.

For more information, call 248-6260 or visit www.conwayalive.com.

MarshWalk BBQ Festival & Cook Off

• March 13, 6 p.m. and March 14, 11 a.m., Wicked Tuna, 4123 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. Free admission, tickets for tasting are $15 per person Friday, and $25 per person Saturday.



This inaugural event will feature two days of delicious eating with 18 competitive teams vying to win more than $4,800 in prize money.

On Friday, attendees can purchase a $15 wristband to enjoy the spoils from the teams contending in the Wing-Ding Chicken Wing Competition. Saturday will feature the main event — the BBQ and ribs cook off.

With the purchase of a $25 wristband, guests can sample each team’s offerings. In addition to the food, live music will be provided by Lion’s Pride Friday evening, with Common Ground, The Steppin’ Stones, and Bullfrog taking the stage Saturday. Kids can enjoy camel rides and a bouncy house. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Special Olympics.

For more information, call 651-9987 or visit www.thewickedtuna.com.

Irish Fest

• March 14, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Valor Park at Market Common, 509 Farrow Parkway, Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



This family-friendly event at Valor Park in Market Common is in its sixth year celebrating everything Irish. Local vendors will be on hand offering Irish-themed food and beer including Highland Gaelic, Brooklyn Irish Stout, and more. Enjoy live music from the Paul Grimshaw Band and Painted Man, as well as kids’ inflatables and face painting.

For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachbeerfest.com/irish-fest.html.

St. Pat’s Bonfire

• March 14, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $3 per person, or two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank.



Gather for some Irish fun outdoors at La Belle Amie Vineyard with a roaring bonfire, live music by the Stringwood Trio, and a guided tour of their beautiful vineyard. Sip on six samples of their premier vino with a wine tasting for $5, or chow down on a variety of food items available from their grill.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/st-pat-bonfire.

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration — Myrtle Beach Boardwalk

• March 14, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and March 15, noon to 9 p.m., Ocean Boulevard between Eighth Avenue and Mr. Joe White Avenue, Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



Get lucky on the Boardwalk with two days of events celebrating the Irish. Enjoy entertainment from live bands Saturday including the Paul Grimshaw Band, The Craig Sorrells Project, The Delta Saints, and more, while Sunday features the Battle of the Bands showdown.

An Irish-themed beer garden will be set up, along with food and retail vendors. This family friendly event will also host a petting zoo with pony and camel rides, carnival rides and games.

For more information, call 732-0050, or visit www.myrtlebeachdowntown.com/festivals.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival- North Myrtle Beach

• March 14; parade starts at 9 a.m., festival 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Main Street, North Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



In its 27th year, this iconic parade and festival on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach draws tourists and locals alike for a day of Irish-themed fun. The parade begins at 9 a.m. with the festival following at 11 a.m.

Attendees will enjoy more than 150 craft, service, food, drink, and business vendors, a kids’ area, contests, and two stages showcasing live entertainment. Enjoy performances from the Triple Toe Cloggers, Myrtle Beach Regional Pipes and Drums, Band on the Rum, Retrograde, and many more.

For more information, call 280-5570, or visit http://parks.nmb.us.

Diggin’ It Spring Garden Festival

• March 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet. Festival is free with paid garden admission.



Nothing says spring like beautiful blooms and gardening. Get back into the swing of the season at this annual festival at Brookgreen Gardens that offers a full day of activities and expert gardening advice with lectures from Dr. Allan Armitage and Dr. Robert Polomski. Learn what mistakes to avoid when landscaping, what type of blooms will last in through the summer heat, and much more.

For more information, call 235-6000, or visit www.brookgreen.org/DigginItgardenfestival.html.

Local Brews Local Grooves: The Ultimate Craft Beer & Music Festival

• March 21, 4 p.m., House of Blues, 4640 US 17, North Myrtle Beach. $10 per person in advance, $12 per person at the door



Enjoy an evening of craft beer tasting and music during this festival at the House of Blues. Six local musicians and bands, including Bullfrog, Medusa Stone, and Matt Parker and the Deacons, will take the stage for an evening of music.

Ten breweries, including Palmetto, Red Hare, Terrapin and Myrtle Beach’s own New South, will be on hand offering samples of their distinct brews. Beer sampling wristbands for five samples will be on sale for $15, with additional beer samples available for $3 each. Food stations with items costing $3 will also be available.

For more information, call 272-3000, or visit www.houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach.

Spring Swing/Big Band Fest

• March 21, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $10 per person; however, bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank and receive $3 off admission price.



Get into the swing of spring and enjoy an afternoon of live music from the Andrew Thielen Big Band. Take a tour of the La Belle Amie Vineyard and sip some vino with a wine tasting to complete the afternoon.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

Blues & Jazz Fest

• April 4, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $8 per person; however, bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank and receive $3 off admission price



Hosted by La Belle Amie Vineyard, attendees can partake in a wine tasting, tour the vineyard and enjoy an afternoon of great music by The Shamalama Trio and Tammy’s Tangent.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

Earth Day Festival

• April 17-18, House of Blues, 4640 US 17, North Myrtle Beach. Free admission to festival events in the restaurant and The Deck, band performances each night require tickets, $20-$22.50 per person.



Partnering with The Wellness Council for Coastal South Carolina and United Recyclers of America, the House of Blues at Barefoot Landing will host this two-day festival celebrating Mother Earth. Along with a venuewide recycling event, they will also feature a special farm to table menu.

Attendees can enjoy live performances on the main stage Friday by moe and Saturday features Blackberry Smoke with Temperance Movement and Ben Miller Band.

For more information, call 272-3000, or visit www.houseofblues.com/myrtlebeach.

April Music Fest

• April 18, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $8 per person; however, bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank and receive $3 off admission price.



Stop in for an afternoon of music with the Marsha Morgan Band and Carolina Midnight, as well as enjoy a wine tasting and vineyard tour.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

Dragon Boat Festival

• April 25, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Grand Park, 1011 Crabtree Lane, Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



In its seventh year, this festival highlights the sport of dragon boating where teams of twenty paddlers and one drummer compete against one another by paddling for the fastest time to the finish line. This family friendly event is sponsored by Ground Zero and will feature live music by Group 1 Crew.

For more information or to register to compete, call 555-1212, or visit www.mygroundzero.com/dragon-boat.

Paddle for the Pets: Build Your Own Boat Race and Festival

• April 25; boat building begins at 9 a.m., festival begins at noon, Barefoot Landing, 4898 U.S. 17, North Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



This event invites competitors to build a human-powered boat large enough to carry two to four people to race on the Intracoastal Waterway during the main event at 3 p.m. If you don’t want to build a boat, stop by at noon to enjoy food vendors, kids’ activities, live music from local and regional acts, and a pet fashion show.

After the race, an awards presentation and after party will be held at Dick’s Last Resort. All proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach.

For more information or to register to build a boat, call 249-4948, or visit www.bflanding.com.

Blessing of the Inlet

• May 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Belin Memorial United Methodist Church, 4183 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. Free admission.



Celebrating its 19th anniversary, the Blessing of the Inlet will once again take place the first Saturday in May to rejoice the Murrells Inlet community’s many blessings. Along with more than 70 arts and crafts vendors, local restaurants will be serving up delicious eats, and attendees can enjoy live entertainment from local dance troupes, choirs, and musicians.

For more information, call 651-5099, or visit www.blessingoftheinlet.com.

Key West Music & Wine Fest

• May 2, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $8 per person; however, bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank and receive $3 off admission price



La Belle Amie Vineyard will host an afternoon of tropical fun with live music by the Paul Grimshaw Band and the Caribbean Jerks. Tour their vineyard and enjoy a wine tasting.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

Rivertown Music & Craft Beer Festival

• May 2, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Third Avenue in Downtown Conway, between Main Street and Elm Street and Laurel Street between Fifth Avenue and Second Avenue. Free admission.



This day-long festival in the streets of downtown Conway will feature live music from Kick the Robot, Steady Hand String Band, Canopy Hands, and Paperwork on two stages, and over 80+ local and national craft brews for tasting. A variety of local food vendors will also be on hand serving up classic festival foods, and Palmetto Chevrolet will host a classic car show.

For more information, call 248-6260, or visit www.conwayalive.com.

Myrtle Beach Bike Week Spring Rally

• May 8-May 17 throughout the Myrtle Beach area. Cost varies by event and venue.



Each spring, motorcycle enthusiasts converge on the Grand Strand area for a week of bike shows, vendors, live entertainment, cruising, and much more.

For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachbikeweek.com.

Mayfest on Main Festival

• May 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Main Street, North Myrtle Beach. Free admission.



In its 10th year, this festival on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Attendees will enjoy nearly 100 craft and food vendors, a kids’ area, and live music from a variety of bands, including Blue Monday and The Guess Who.

For more information, call 280-5570 or visit http://parks.nmb.us.

Myrtle Beach Beer Fest

• May 9, 2 to 9 p.m., TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, 1251 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach. $30 per person before April 15, $35 per person April 16-May 8, $45 at the door.



In its seventh year, this annual festival celebrates beer in its own distinct way. With close to 100 different beers available for tasting, attendees can meander from booth to booth during the festival, sipping four-ounce samples of brews from a variety of national and local breweries. Live music and food vendors will also be on hand.

For more information, visit www.myrtlebeachbeerfest.com.

World Famous Blue Crab Festival

• May 16-17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Little River Waterfront, Waterfront Avenue, Little River. $4 for one day tickets in advance, $8 for two day tickets in advance, $5 per day at gate.



In its 34th year, this annual family-friendly two-day festival celebrates the beauty of Little River waterfront community and is a draw for locals and tourists alike. Chow down on delectable food and drink from local restaurants, enjoy arts and crafts, a kids area, vendors, live music by Carolina Breakers, Jim Quick & Coastline, and much more.

For more information, on the event and parking, call 249-6604, or visit www.bluecrabfestival.org.

Atlantic Beach Bikefest

• May 22-25, Atlantic Beach. Cost varies by event and venue.



Motorcycle and sport bike enthusiasts converge on Atlantic Beach and the Grand Strand each Memorial Day weekend to partake in a variety of festivities, live entertainment, vendors, shopping and much more.

For more information, visit www.townofatlanticbeachsc.com.

Memorial Saturday Music & Cookout

• May 23, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $3 per person, or bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank.



Stop by for a cook out and afternoon of music with the Fat Jack Duo. Attendees can enjoy a wine tasting and take a tour of the vineyard.

For more information, call 399-9463, or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

The Native Sons Salt Games 2015

• May 30, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and May 31, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown Myrtle Beach, between Eighth and Ninth avenues North. Free to attend, some activities require registration and entry fees



This two-day event highlights the best of beach life with activities galore celebrating the sun, surf and salt. From yoga on the boardwalk to professional and amateur surfing competitions, a crossfit challenge, kids’ obstacle race, a hot dog-eating contest, cornhole tournaments, and food and drink vendors, this event offers a variety of all ages activities to participate in or watch. Want to compete? Registration is available online.

For more information, call 448-0585 or visit www.thesaltgames.com.

Carolina Country Music Fest

• June 5-June 7, noon to 11:30 p.m., 812 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. General admission is $189 per person, VIP packages available.



This much-anticipated inaugural music fest will feature three days of performances by some of country music biggest names including Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Kellie Pickler, Big & Rich and many more.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.carolinacountrymusicfest.com.

Art Festival at Brookgreen Gardens

• June 6-June 7, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Brookgreen Gardens, 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet. Festival is free with paid garden admission.



Meet and speak with more than 40 local and regional artists and authors during this two-day festival. Along with the artists and authors selling their work, demonstrations will also be given during the event.

For more information, call 235-6000 or visit www.brookgreen.org/ArtFestival.html.

First Blush of Summer Fest

• June 20, noon to 5 p.m., La Belle Amie Vineyard, 1120 Saint Joseph Road, Little River. $8 per person; however, bring two or more canned or dry good items for donation the local food bank and receive $3 off admission price.



Before the official start of summer, stop by La Belle Amie Vineyard for an afternoon of wine and music with a performance by the Jebb Mac Band. Sip some vino during a wine tasting and take a tour of the vineyard.

For more information, call 399-9463 or visit www.labelleamie.com/festival-schedule.

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