Each year in March, revelers worldwide gather to honor the patron saint of Ireland — Saint Patrick — with celebrations and parades featuring Irish music, Irish food and drink, a slew of shamrocks, and a healthy dose of green attire. And for over three decades on the Grand Strand, crowds have filled the streets of North Myrtle Beach for what has become the area’s largest and best-known St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
This year, the tradition will continue from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, as approximately 30,000 attendees are expected to converge on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach for the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival. Highlights of the event will include a 9 a.m. parade through downtown North Myrtle Beach, followed by live music performed on three separate stages starting at 11 a.m. Other draws will include a children’s area featuring rides, games and other activities, and approximately 150 vendors selling food, drinks, crafts, and other goods and services. A pair of popular Irish-themed contests will also add to the day’s excitement.
Consider these festive reasons to join the Irish-themed fun:
Set to begin at 9 a.m., the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will run east along Main Street from Ye Olde Kings Highway to Hillside Drive before winding its way along 1st Avenue South and Ocean Boulevard to 2nd Avenue North. Participants can include businesses, civic groups, marching bands, pageant queens, individuals, families and more, and spectators lining the streets are sure to have a blast soaking in all the Irish-themed fun.
LIVE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT
Three stages set up in the streets of North Myrtle Beach will host performances, presentations and contests during the daylong event. The entertainment schedule for the three stages includes:
Flynn’s Irish Tavern Stage
11 a.m.: TBA
11:45 a.m.: TBA
12 p.m.: TBA
12:45 p.m.: TBA
1 p.m.: TBA
2:15 p.m.: Leprechaun Contest
2:30 p.m.: Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest
2:45 p.m.: TBA
Freedom Boat Club Stage (Oak Drive)
11:15 a.m.: TBA
11:45 a.m.: Parade Awards
12:15 p.m.: TBA
12:30 p.m.: TBA
1 p.m.: TBA
1:15 p.m.: TBA
Sticky Fingers Stage (near Duffy’s Seafood Shack)
11 a.m.: TBA
1:30 p.m.: TBA
The celebration’s highly anticipated Leprechaun Contest will see entrants don their most convincing leprechaun garb to be judged on appearance, originality, creativity, enthusiasm and energy. The grand-prize winner will claim the title of Festival Leprechaun, a $100 Walmart gift card, an event T-shirt, a souvenir of achievement, and a photo and short bio on the event website. Next, a Shepherd’s Pie Eating Contest will pit hungry contestants against each other and a plate full of the traditional Irish meat pie. The first contestant to clean their plate (without using their hands) will claim bragging rights, a stylish championship plaque, and a photo and short bio on the event website.
To learn more about the 31st Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival, visit parks.nmb.us. After your day of Irish-themed fun in North Myrtle Beach, head for The Strand Resort to relax with our comfortable oceanfront accommodations, enjoy our wide-ranging on-property amenities and rest up for more adventures in the Myrtle Beach area. Book your St. Patrick's Day weekend at The Strand today — and start looking forward to some good times on the Carolina coast.