Annual NMB St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Festival is set
By Pat Dowling
The 28th Annual North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival will be held on Saturday, March 12, on Main Street. The parade begins at 9 a.m. and the festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The one-day rain or shine event attracts more than 30,000 people annually.
Spectators gathering to watch the parade should be in place along the Main Street parade route by 8:20 a.m. Main Street will close to vehicular traffic at 8:30 a.m. Main Street from Ash Street to Ocean Boulevard will remain closed until the festival ends.
The festival offers 150-plus food, arts and crafts, nonprofit and other vendors.
Trevor Strawderman, principal at North Myrtle Beach High School, is the grand marshal for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The North Strand Optimist Club organizes the parade, and all entry fees go back into helping the youth of the community.
WDPE TV 15 is the media sponsor. Easy 105.9 is the radio sponsor. The North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade presenting sponsor.
The St. Patrick’s Day Festival offers three entertainment stages. The current entertainment lineup is as follows:
Community Stage —
Main Street & Oak Drive
11 a.m.: Myrtle Beach Regional Pipes and Drums
11:15 a.m.: Triple Toe Cloggers
11:45 a.m.: Parade Awards
12:15 p.m.: Myrtle Beach Regional Pipe and Drums
12:45 p.m.: Coastal Pipes and Drums
1:30 p.m.: Ocean Drive Elementary School Chorus
2:15 p.m.: 4 p.m.: Folk ‘Em
Main Stage —
Near Flynn’s Irish Tavern
11 a.m.: Band on the Rum
11:45 a.m.: Coastal Pipes and Drums
12 p.m.: Band on the Rum
12:45 p.m.: Wake District Pipes and Drums
1 p.m.: Tan and Sober Gentleman
2:15 p.m.: Leprechaun Contest
2:30 p.m.: Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest
2:45 p.m.: 4 p.m.: Tan and Sober Gentleman
Green Stage —
Near Duffy’s Seafood Shack
11 a.m.: Retrograde
1:45 p.m.: 4 p.m.: Chocolate Chip and Company
Two contests are also part of this year’s festival:
The 28th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival Leprechaun Contest —
Show off your love of all things Irish by competing in the 28th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival Leprechaun Contest. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, appearance, enthusiasm and energy.
Participants must be 18 years or older, must register and be dressed in a leprechaun/Irish-themed costume and must grant permission to the city of North Myrtle Beach to publish photos for promotion and sign a release of liability. The contest is open to the general public and no purchase is necessary to participate.
Contestants must register at the Main Stage at Flynn’s Irish Tavern before 2 p.m. Preregistration is also available at the Festival Information Booth (corner of Hillside Drive and Main Street) before 1:30 p.m. Meet at the stairs of the Main Stage at 2 p.m. Contest begins at 2:15 p.m.
There will be a grand prize winner. In addition to holding the title of the 28th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival Leprechaun, the St. Patrick’s Day website will feature the winner’s name and brief bio. The winner also receives a $100 gift card to Walmart, an event T-shirt and a souvenir of achievement.
The 28th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Shepherd’s Pie Eating Contest —
First to clear their plate without using their hands wins bragging rights and a stylish plaque designed by Coastal Engravers.
Register at the Main Stage at Flynn’s Irish Tavern before 2 p.m. Preregistration is also available at the Festival Information Booth at the corner of Hillside Drive and Main Street before 1:30 p.m. Meet at the stairs of the Main Stage on the festival site at 2:15 p.m. The contest begins at 2:30 p.m.