While it’s clear many folks on the Grand Strand don’t need an excuse to party, we think most would agree it’s nice to have something more than just another episode of Myrtle Manor to celebrate at the end of the week.
Luckily, St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, which means this weekend adds not only the uninhibited celebration of Irish heritage, but also green beer, shamrock beads and corned beef to the already colorful assortment of things that make up a night out on the town in Myrtle Beach.
In addition to the usual lineup of Irish pubs, this year’s slate of events includes a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly fun, active excitement or “drink ‘til you’re green” partying there’s sure to be something that suits you.
Here’s a closer look at what’s happening around town this St. Patrick’s Day weekend:
Gathering on the Green
• When: 5 p.m. Friday
• Where: Third Avenue, Conway
• Details: 248-6260 or conwayalive.com
Folks looking to get a jump start on a weekend full of revelry can come out to the Third Annual Gathering of the Green on Friday night.
Taking place in the heart of downtown Conway, this event will feature live Folk and Bluegrass music from The Spots (5-6 p.m.), Classic Rock group Dyno-Daddy (6-8 p.m.), Irish Trivia, a silent auction and a Taste of Conway featuring eight great Rivertown restaurants.
For those who’d rather play with their food than eat it, there will be plenty of fun and games including a pickle-eating contest and a “potato hurl” contest where participants will attempt to toss spuds through moving targets to win valuable prizes.
“It’s a quick taste of downtown Conway, with all the food, fun and craziness. We like to say we’ll do just about anything to get people to come to our downtown and if great music, great food and hurling potatoes doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will,” said Hillary Howard, executive director of Conway Downtown Alive.
The event is free to attend and tickets will be sold for purchasing Irish food, green beer and other refreshments.
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH
St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival
• When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Main Street, North Myrtle Beach
• Details: 280-5584 or http://parks.nmb.us/
The area’s longest-running St. Patrick’s Day celebration will mark its 25th year in 2013 and according to parade chairperson Maria Strickland it’s no accident the event has lasted so long.
“All the different things the festival and city offers each year are just amazing,” she said. “Community support has been amazing and one thing that’s really helped its growth is that its televised. WPDE has played a big part in that over the years.”
A testament to its growth, this year’s parade will feature more than 120 entries and Strickland expects 50,000 or more attendees throughout the day.
As in past years, masses of people will line Main Street for the 9 a.m. parade, with many season watchers lining up their chairs and blankets well beforehand to get a good spot. The roughly two-hour long parade will stretch down Main Street and Ocean Boulevard with Emily Grey Wayne, a Miss South Carolina contestant, serving as Grand Marshal.
“It’s a family fun event that’s great for all ages,” Strickland said. “There’s a little bit of everything, from cats dressed like leprechauns to all sorts of entertainment including an Irish band and we’ve even got a kazoo band.”
New to this year’s event are a slate of unique contests including the leprechaun costume contest, Shepherd’s pie eating contest and the first-ever Pot of Gold Treasure Hunt.
For this contest attendees can register from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce booth for a chance to be one of 25 lucky participants chosen to “dig for gold” combing through sand on the beach looking for gold tokens which can be exchanged for prizes.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ve had a lot of really good prizes donated,” said Strickland.
After the parade, attendees can wander the streets to explore more than 125 vendors who will display arts and crafts and sell Irish food and other refreshments.
The festival also feature a children’s area chock full of rides and games and there’s plenty of entertainment from local dancers, cloggers and other entertainers. The musical lineup includes a pair of pipe and drum bands, traditional Irish band Ceol na Gael, the Will Jackson Band and Beach favorites Atlantic Groove among others.
“North Myrtle Beach has a lot to offer ... you’ve gotta try it at least once,” said Strickland. “I like to think we’re the best portion of the beach, but that’s just my opinion. The crowds will amaze you, the hospitality will amaze you and once you’ve tried it once you’ll want to come back again and again.”
DOWNTOWN MYRTLE BEACH
Ocean Boulevard’s St. Patty’s Day
• When: Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Ocean Boulevard, between 8th and 9th avenues north
• Details: mbdowntownstpats.com or 997-6695
The downtown business owners of the Oceanfront Merchants Association will, for the fourth year in a row, host a day of Irish-influenced celebration in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach.
This year’s party will feature a more compact setup with the event contained between 8th and 9th avenues North, instead of stretching down the all the way down the boulevard to Plyler Park.
To help accommodate the thousands expected to attend, the stage has been pushed back near the intersection of Ocean Boulevard and 8th Avenue North while vendors and activities have been relocated to each side of the road on the former Pavilion site.
“We wanted to try something a little bit different this year,” said organizer Jonathan Staton. “It’s still going to have that street party feel, but no matter where you are at any point within the festival you can still enjoy the music.”
The inland side of the lot will now feature a larger kids’ carnival with activities including inflatables, sports games, an obstacle course and a video game area. Opposite that, the oceanfront side of the street will feature food and beverage vendors serving everything from green beer to authentic Irish cuisine.
“We were limited in the past because we didn’t want folks selling hot dogs right out in front of the restaurants and other businesses,” said Staton. “With the new setup we’ve been able to expand the food offerings and logistics-wise it’s a lot easier for us to set up.”
In addition to a new setup, the music has also been revamped, offering a solid slate of regional and local acts, as opposed to a “big splash” headliner like last year’s performance by Rusted Root.
“Obviously, we’d love to have Rusted Root back every St. Patty’s Day, but we didn’t go after any of the big boys this year and instead focused on improving the overall experience,” said Staton. “Even so, it’s a great lineup we’ve got.”
Passafire, a Reggae Rock act from Savannah, will headline this year’s event, joined by Columbia-based rock group Weaving The Fate and local acts such as The Austin Mowery Band , Paul Grimshaw Band, Bullfrog, Band on the Rum and Broken Strings.
THE MARKET COMMON
• When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday
• Where: Valor Park at The Market Common
• Details: myrtlebeachbeerfest.com or 712-2618
Can’t wait for Myrtle Beach Beerfest here in a few weeks? Get a jump start on all the tasting action at the Fourth Annual Irish Fest hosted by Festival Promotions.
What’s become an annual tradition at The Market Common is both family-friendly — with inflatables, face painting and games for the kids — and exciting with live music by funk/rock group Painted Man, plenty of vendors and great Irish food.
Beer lovers will also enjoy sampling a variety of craft brews including selections special for the holiday such as Brooklyn Irish Stout, Founders Breakfast Stout, Highland Gaelic Ale and more.
Admission is free and tickets are $1 with food and drinks ranging from one to five tickets.
BROADWAY AT THE BEACH
Tilted Kilt 5k Kilt Run
• When: Begins at 8:30 a.m. Sunday
• Where: Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, 1317 Celebrity Circle, Broadway at the Beach, Myrtle Beach
• Details: tiltedkilt.com or 712-2670
Those looking to work off that corned beef and cabbage and sweat out the green beer from the Saturday’s celebrations can partake in the 2nd Annual Tilted Kilt 5K Kilt Run.
The running will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning with a family fun run, followed by a 5K run at 9 a.m. The race starts and ends at the entrance of the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery on the southwest side of Broadway at the Beach.
If the run’s inaugural event is any indication, holiday spirit will be high with many runners going to extremes to compete for prizes given to the best costumes, as well as to the fastest runners.
As soon as the running is done, the real fun begins with a post-race awards ceremony and party that includes a breakfast buffet and a drink ticket.
The fun will continue with Titled Kilt’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration featuring Irish food, drinks and a trio of live bands including Ten Toes Up and Band on the Rum.
“We’re upbeat and cater to both the family-friendly crowd and the nightlife crowd that’s looks for a place to have some fun and drink lots of green beer on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Dennis Hart, Titled Kilt kitchen manager.
Hart said he expects about 2,400 people to attend this year’s celebration.
“We’re gonna have a big tent, a beer truck, three live bands and we’ll be having a drawing at 5 p.m. to give away a trip to Ireland,” he said. “Combine that with food from our Hooley menu — corned beef and cabbage, Scotch eggs, Shepherds Pie — and it’s going to be a great time.”
The celebration will extend throughout the day until 2 a.m. and race registration will take place at the restaurant Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 7:40 to 8:15 a.m.
MORE PLACES TO PARTY
Not keen on going green at one of the spots listed above? Here’s a few more St. Patrick’s Day parties you might want to check out:
• Dead Dog Saloon, 4079 Hwy 17 Business, Murrells Inlet. St. Pat’s Party on Sunday with all-you-can-eat corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie and Bangers & Mash, specials on green beer, Guinness and Jameson Irish Whisky and live music from the NY Shield Pipes & Drums Band at 4 p.m. and the Paulie O’Grimshaw Band at 7 p.m. 651-0664
• Flynn’s Irish Tavern, 421 Main St., North Myrtle Beach. Flynn’s is a great place to take in Saturday’s parade or grab a bite after North Myrtle Beach’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival. In addition, Flynn’s will open at 11 a.m. Sunday for St. Patrick’s Day featuring traditional Irish tunes and other favorites from local duo Band on the Rum. 249-6533
• Mama Rue’s Blues Garden, 9737 U.S. 17 N, Pawleys Island. Mama Rue’s will host a St. Patrick’s Day celebration Saturday with doors opening at 4 p.m. and live music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Blues artist My Buddy Todd will perform and Corned Beef, Cabbage and Irish Soda Bread will be served. 235-3853
• Molly Darcy’s Irish Pub & Grill, 1701 S. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach. This traditional pub offers a great view of the beach from its oceanfront patio and some hardcore holiday revelry beginning at 11 a.m Saturday. There will be bagpipers performing at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., DJ Johnny at 10 p.m. and a special menu throughout the day. 272-5555
• Murphy’s Law Sports Bar, Check out any of the area locations of this Irish-themed sports bar to take part in Murphy’s biggest party of the year. The weekend-long celebration will stretch across Saturday and Sunday with a special menu featuring corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, Irish Stew, Fish & Chips and Reuben sandwiches. There will also be specials including $1 Jello shots and $2 green beers. Experience all four locations with a ride on the party bus departing from Murphy’s South on Sunday. 742-5649
• O’Keefes Irish Pub, 834 Inlet Square Dr, Murrells Inlet. Dubbed as “The largest St. Patrick’s Day Party in Murrells Inlet” the festivities started early with Kegs and Eggs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and continue with Irish music all day and O’Keefe’s famous Corned Beef and Cabbage. 651-7211
• Old Bull and Bush Pub, 4700 U.S. 17 Bypass S., Myrtle Beach. Celebrate in an authentic English pub atmosphere at McCann’s Pub & Eatery with live music from Band on The Rum on Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m. 831-0505
• Pawley’s Island Tavern, 10635 Ocean Hwy., Pawleys Island. Spend your St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage, drink specials and music from local duo Menace to Sobriety who will perform a happy hour set from 5 to 7 p.m. and a “party” set from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday. 237-8465
• Spanish Galleon, 100 N. Ocean Blvd., North Myrtle Beach. Celebrate St. Patty's Day at The Spanish Galleon with The Carolina Breakers as they play the best the best in beach and top 40 with DJ Jon spinning the hits between sets. 249-1048
• Surfside Beach Civic Center, 115 U.S. 17 N., Surfside Beach. The Town of Surfside Beach will host its annual St. Patrick's Day Dance on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. 913-6111