Myrtle Beach Fall Festivals
Fall is an ideal time for a Myrtle Beach vacation. The crowds start to dwindle, but the water stays warm and there are plenty of festivals to explore all throughout the cool Fall months. Come check out the Greek Festival in September, soak up the local culture with a number of Art festivals in October, or ring in the holiday season with a number of festivals in November. No matter what month you pick to explore, you’ll find there’s a lot to love about Myrtle Beach’s Autumn season.
Myrtle Beach September Festivals
The tourists go home after Labor Day, the hotel room rates go down, the sultry temperatures drop, and the year-rounders venture forth once again to retake the town. All that summertime hibernating apparently works up an appetite and a lot of fall events are focused on food. And that could also be because the fishing is so great in the temperate fall weather, making it prime time to grill seafood outdoors.
St. John’s Greek Festival sets the standard for Greek pastries, cookies, baked goods, wine, music, colorful costumes and folk dance. It’s time you learned about mousaka, spanikopita, gyros and baba ghannouj, and to keep the educational thing going the church runs tours and lectures about the orthodox faith throughout the day. It’s all exotic and foreign spice for the eyes, ears and palate. Call (843) 448-3773.
Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival takes place in September, a celebration in Huntington Beach State Park of more than 100 local artists working in every medium from glass to baskets. Atalaya was the palatial, Moorish castle-style estate of railroad magnate Archer Huntington and his sculptor wife Anna Hyatt Huntington, founders of Brookgreen Gardens. Call (843) 237-4440.
The Irish Italian Festival possibly represents what’s come to be known as fusion cuisine, serving up Irish and Italian food and spirits, some competition among local restaurants, two stages of live entertainment, street performers, dance groups, arts and crafts vendors, and a spaghetti-eating contest in North Myrtle Beach. Kids will compete in a LEGO building contest. The City of North Myrtle Beach and the NMB Aquatic & Fitness Center run this festival. Call (843) 280-5570.
Society of Stranders (SOS) Fall Migration is yet another ten-day shag dancing spectacle in North Myrtle Beach, similar to the Spring Safari. Thousands of shaggers converge on the famous SOS lounges on Ocean Drive – Fat Harold’s, Ducks, Ducks II, the OD Arcade and the clubs at the OD Beach & Golf Resort. Instructors offer classes to the masses and “tea parties” are scheduled at hotels and nightclubs.
Fun Sunday kicks off the dancing on the street beside the OD Arcade. Fun Monday packs Main Street from Ocean Drive to Hillside with music, dancing in the street, merchandise and food and drink vendors. Call (843) 280-5997.
South Carolina’s Largest Garage Sale comes every year to the Exhibit Hall at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, put on by the City of Myrtle Beach. This annual sale represents acres of junk and treasures, and it’s a one-day deal. Admission is free but parking will cost you a couple dollars. Call (843) 918-1014.
Italian Festival at Broadway at the Beach is put on by the Sons of Italy in America #2662, with Italian food specialties, arts and crafts, vendors and entertainment. Here you’ll find Italian food tents, desserts, souvenirs and bocce. Call (843) 444-3200.
Oktoberfest at Valor Park is likely to take place in very late September at the Market Common. Get in the German spirit with German food, German beer, German music and dance, fun and games and vendor tents. The three-day line-up includes a kick-off concert, kids activities (face painting, bounce houses, pony rides and a balloon artist), contests and an Oktoberfest Relay, at 4017 Deville Street, phone (843) 839-3500.
Myrtle Beach October Festivals
Another Oktoberfest is coming your way in October, along with various additional opportunities to overindulge. This is one of the best times of the year on the coast, with cool breezes coming off the ocean and the height of fishing season kicking up the action on piers and charter boats.
Little River Shrimp and Jazz Festival serves up its shrimp in every way imaginable and that goes for the jazz as well. Slated for Columbus Day weekend, it’s a two-day event that fills the streets of a quaint fishing village with jewelry, pottery, art and oddities. Along with the shrimp the festival serves up crab cakes, oysters, beer, wine, and the usual festival food such as funnel cakes. You’ll pay both for parking and festival admission. Call the Little River Chamber at (843) 249-6604.
Loris Bog-Off showcases a local dish unique to this part of South Carolina. The bog is typically a concoction of rice, sausage, chicken and spices, and you won’t find anything like it anywhere else. The festival goes on for a week, with movies on the lawn Monday night, game night on Tuesday, dancing in the moonlight on Thursday and the main event on Saturday – a bog cooking contest, live music, children’s area, car and tractor show, and fireworks. Contact the Loris Chamber of Commerce at (843) 756-6030.
Ocean Boulevard’s Oktoberfest takes the German thing to the streets once again with another round of authentic cuisine and live entertainment. This one features a bratwurst eating contest and fireworks after the show – the showing being live concerts, German food, beer and wine, and a kids’ zone with inflatables and street performers. Ocean Boulevard is closed to traffic from 8th Avenue North to Mr. Joe White Avenue (Plyler Park). Admission is free and a portion of the proceeds goes to Horry County Special Olympics. Call (843) 997-6695.
Art in the Park closes out its summer season in October (some years as late as November) to Chapin Park, 1400 North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild puts on a show of original paintings, woodworking, photography, jewelry, fabric, glass, metal, pottery and stone. Call (843) 446-7471.
Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art features a lot of cultural events including a wine gala and theatrical performances, all to benefit the non-profit Grand Strand Exclusive that stages concerts and symphonies. The festival runs a couple weeks and changes every year, but in general it involves a gallery crawl, jazz music, blues and R&B, a dance at The Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island, and fireworks. The 16th century Italian tradition of street painting is demonstrated at the Chalk Walk during Family Day. Call (843) 626-8911.
Live Oak Art Festival in Conway is just a short drive away, with visual and performing arts under the shady oaks at the historic Horry County Courthouse. It’s held in conjunction with the town’s annual fall festival, combining forces to bring in three stages of live entertainment, a car show, dozens of local artists and craftsmen and thousands of visitors. Call (843) 248-4527.
Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon Weekend is a 13.1-mile mini marathon coupled with a health and fitness expo, a doggie dash, a high-heel run, a 5K race, a party and a movie. Some proceeds go to the Grand Strand Humane Society. Call 1-800-733-7089.
The Wooden Boat Show in Georgetown recaptures a lost art during the third weekend of October, with a national boat building challenge, wooden boat exhibits, and maritime arts and crafts. In the boat building competition, as many as 20 men on a team build a modified version of a 12-foot Monhegan Skiff in less than four hours. A rowing relay race tests the seaworthiness of the vessels and judging is based on construction, quality and rowing ability. Call (843) 545-0015.
Myrtle Beach November Festivals
Myrtle Beach is an interesting place to be during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. An ever-increasing chill in the air subtly suggests the frosty winter weather associated with the holiday season, and a thriving theatrical community can simulate the rest. Don’t let the palm trees kill the mood.
A Veterans Day Ceremony honoring the fallen of World War I and World War II is held at Myrtle Beach Convention Center Special Events Plaza. The Grand Strand Patriotic Alliance teams up with Rolling Thunder to represent every branch of the service in the day’s ceremonies. Call (843) 997-1981.
Waccamaw Indians hold an annual pow-wow at their tribal grounds in Aynor, at 591 Bluewater Road. Call (843) 358-6877.
Annual Dickens Christmas Show and Festivals is at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, with 350 exhibitors dressed in period costume at an extravagant arts and crafts show. Strolling minstrels and other costumed characters wander through many tables laden with gifts, wreaths, ornaments and such. Call (843) 448-9483.
South Carolina Bluegrass Festival is a Thanksgiving Day treat that runs three days at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Six groups or more start at noon and keep it up all day, through 10 p.m. Call (706) 864-7203.
Intracoastal Christmas Regatta is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a boat parade of vessels large and small – lit, decorated, and sauntering all in a line that forms at the Little River Inlet and terminates at the Dock Holidays Marina in North Myrtle Beach. Santa’s Angels organizes the event as well as the associated fundraising and toy drives. Call (843) 249-8888.