Horry County Notebook | An ode to “Deerzilla”

If Grandma really did get run over by a reindeer, the culprit’s probably hanging out in the atrium of the Horry County Government and Justice Center.

County employees have dubbed the giant reindeer holiday display “Deerzilla.” If measured to the top of his antlers, he’s 12 feet in height. Puny Santa stands only 7 or 8 feet tall.

“Doesn’t he look like he could jump on his back and fly right off?” said Kim Parker, senior program specialist with Horry County Parks and Recreation, about Kris Kringle and his trusty North Pole companion.

Parker, along with the Horry County Council on Aging, oversaw the massive holiday display at the county government building.

Their holiday centerpiece was donated by Don Waller, owner of the local Wallerbear Surf Shop.

Waller acquired the reindeer 10 years ago when he ran a gift shop along with the surf business. He was on a buying trip in Chicago and a gift supplier showed him seven of the stuffed creations, which were handmade in Germany.

“That thing retailed for $5,000,” Waller said. The gift supplier, he added, was so anxious to get rid of the last one that Waller was offered a good deal.

Waller’s new reindeer got lots of attention, but no buyers. And when the surf shop got bigger, he moved away from the gift business and the stuffed animal wound up in his log cabin.

Finally, he was ready to be rid of it. When he talked to county about their holiday decorating plans, Waller offered to donate “Deerzilla.”

He only requested they keep it inside, away from the elements, and make sure it was decorated.

“The children love it,” Parker said.

Bridge work completed two weeks early

This is good news for drivers.

Bridge repairs have been completed on the U.S. 701 bridge over Yauhannah Lake and no further closures will be necessary, said Jason Thompson, with the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The contractor finished the work two weeks ahead of schedule.

Myrtle Beach Airport providing extra parking for holiday travelers

The Myrtle Beach International Airport has opened 260 temporary parking spaces to accommodate its larger volume of holiday travelers, according to a press release.

Airport officials suggest that departing passengers driving to the airport plan accordingly and arrive at the terminal in plenty of time to find a parking spot, or, if possible, have a friend or relative drop-off and pick-up from the airport.

“Please plan accordingly if your travel plans include parking at the airport during the holiday season,” said Mike La Pier, Horry County Director of Airports.