Myrtle Beach’s Best Events and Festivals on the Grand Strand

Events and festivals galore can be found all along the Grand Strand virtually any time of year. These are some of the most popular among Myrtle Beach visitors.

Jesse Broadt: Contributor

table full of steamed blue crabs

Anyone traveling to Myrtle Beach for a Grand Strand vacation can enjoy new experiences by taking the time to attend one of the area’s many yearly festivals and events. With so many celebrations from which to choose, it is easy for virtually anyone to locate an event he or she finds appealing. Below are some favorites among Grand Strand vacationers:

Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show

Each year in the spring, The Blue Angels visit Myrtle Beach to make headlines as their Show Team offers outstanding, adrenaline-filled performances. The Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show lineup typically always exceeds any standard, world-class air show and usually includes the following:

  • USN Blue Angels Jet Demonstration Squadron
  • GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team
  • USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team

Anyone searching for exciting, outdoor entertainment when temperatures are pleasant but not too hot will find this event the perfect choice.

Blue Angels flying pattern in Myrtle Beach Air Show

Blue Angels grace the skies at the Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show

Carolina Country Music Festival

A winner for visitors of all ages and from all walks of life, the Carolina Country Music Festival–CCMF–is one of the crown jewels of the Grand Strand. The Southeast’s premier outdoor country music event, this festival is held against the scenic backdrop of the Myrtle Beach coastline and provides an ideal blend of country music’s biggest stars, local legends and up and coming talent. This three day long celebration is typically held in June, and is one of the area’s most popular summer events. Merchants, food vendors, and face painting artists are usually part of the occasion as well. Vacationers can enjoy scheduled performances morning, noon and night throughout this highly entertaining festival.  See more.


Conway Riverfest

Typically scheduled the weekend before the Fourth of July, the Conway Riverfest is a spectacular choice for those with children or for the young at heart. This fun packed event is held along the majestic Waccamaw River near downtown Conway, and makes a great day trip for those vacationing on the Grand Strand. This iconic summer festival features a broad range of attractions, including the following:

  • Raft races
  • An artisan market
  • Numerous live entertainment acts
  • Children’s games and activities
  • Multiple food vendors
  • Face painting
  • Produce markets

See more

Horry County Fair at Myrtle Beach Speedway

A newcomer to the Grand Strand, with the opening event taking place in 2016, the Horry County Fair is now held each year in April at the Myrtle Beach Speedway. Unlimited ride wristbands are offered to those attending the fair, which has a terrific selection of things to do and see. Additionally, this event offers excellent live entertainment, a petting zoo, pig races and children’s games, all of which help visitors to create lifelong memories of their trip to Myrtle Beach.  See more.

Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest

Held each year at The Market Common in the heart of Myrtle Beach is the celebrated Oktoberfest event. Featuring over 40 vendors, an expansive selection of beer, numerous live entertainment venues, face painting, children’s play areas, and a pumpkin patch, this festival is ideal for vacationers, day trippers and local families. Pumpkin decorating contests are also sometimes held at the festival, and visitors should check in advance to ask about entry rules if they want to try out their artistic skills on a fall pumpkin.

Pumpkins on display during Myrtle Beach Octoberfest

Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest great choice for Grand Strand visitors

Motorcycle Rallies at the Beach

Each year, hundreds of thousands of bikers descend on Myrtle Beach to celebrate their love of motorcycles, compare their bikes with other riding fans, and enjoy great live entertainment and cold drinks at the Grand Strand’s outstanding biker bars. The Spring Rally, held annually in early May, draws motorcyclists from up and down the East Coast and is always an unforgettable event.

Against the backdrop of sand and palm trees, riders can cruise the coastline, socialize, and experience a party atmosphere like no other. Riders may also wish to attend a similar event that is held every fall on the Grand Strand, usually in October. Although the Fall Rally is more low key than the spring event, drawing approximately 25,000 people, it is still a fun and exciting celebration for any riding enthusiast.  See More

Black Pearl Cultural Heritage and Bike Festival is another great event on the Grand Strand. Formerly called Atlantic Beach Bikefest, the celebration is typically held on or near Memorial Day weekend. Thousands of black motorcycle riders flood into Myrtle Beach for nonstop action and a party that never ends. Most of the entertainment for this event happens around the North Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach areas; however, there is still lots of action to be found in Myrtle Beach and other parts of the Grand Strand. Both seasoned riders and those who are new to the sport will find these festivals are the perfect way to celebrate their love of riding.  See More

 Harley bike rider during Bike Week in Myrtle Beach

Each year motorcyclists converge on Myrtle Beach to attend the Grand Strand’s famous bike rallies

Dickens Christmas Show Myrtle Beach

The Dickens Christmas Show and Festival

The Dickens Christmas Show and Festival is perhaps the best-loved holiday event on the Grand Strand. This unique celebration is a yearly tradition, and is held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in the  heart of the city. The festival attracts over 20,000 people from up and down the eastern seaboard. Held in December of each year, those who attend the event can enjoy the following:

  • Festive displays of trees
  • Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind wreaths for sale
  • Strolling Victorian musicians
  • Shadow box displays
  • Punch and Judy shows
  • Tea Leaf Readers
  • Life-Size Santas Through the Ages Exhibit
  • Ornate stockings for sale
  • Dickens Show Crafts of Worlds
  • Pictures with live Santa

All displays can be purchased at silent auction and proceeds go to the sponsoring non-profit organizations.  See More

World Famous Blue Crab Festival

Each May, more than 50,000 visitors descend on the sleepy fishing village of Little River, South Carolina to attend the renowned Blue Crab Festival. Situated toward the northernmost end of the Grand Strand, blue crab is served up all day long by multiple vendors at this unique and enjoyable event. Featuring arts and crafts, kids activities, live music, and numerous merchants selling a variety of souvenirs, arts and crafts, this best-loved springtime festival is perfect for anyone who enjoys sumptuous seafood and the great outdoors.  See More

MayFest On Main

Main Street in North Myrtle Beach is home to a fun, family festival that is held each year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. Since 2005, the MayFest on Main has kicked off summer in North Myrtle Beach and the surrounding area. Food vendors, arts and crafts, face painting, live music, a playground and community stage all help to create the atmosphere of this child-friendly event. Those vacationing on the Grand Strand in May or anyone looking for a terrific Saturday day trip location should plan on attending  MayFest on the Main.  See More

Little River ShrimpFest and Jazz Celebration

A popular festival that takes place each year on the Little River waterfront is the October ShrimpFest. Scheduled each year for Columbus Day weekend, this Autumn festival draws thousands of locals and visitors whose goal is to enjoy great weather, mouthwatering shrimp–including samples from the festival’s shrimp cook-off–and top notch live jazz music. Vacationers who enjoy seafood and live jazz performances should place this event on their must-do list.  See More

Shrimp dish served during Little River ShrimpFest and Jazz Celebration

Delicacies await at the October ShrimpFest

Intracoastal Christmas Regatta

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, the Grand Strand hosts the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta. Beginning at the Little River Inlet and winding its way to the Dock Holidays Marina in North Myrtle Beach where it commences, this nighttime boat parade is a popular favorite among locals and visitors alike. Spectators can watch boats lit up with decorations, Christmas lights, and other holiday themes as they travel the waterways to their final destination. A fun filled event suitable for visitors of all ages, the Intracoastal Christmas Regatta is a timeless tradition on the Grand Strand.  See More

Saint John’s Greek Festival

Saint John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church hosts an annual Greek culture celebration that offers unique entertainment and delicious food for anyone who wishes to attend. A traditional event on the Grand Strand, this festival offers a glimpse into a different culture, and patrons can try various authentic Greek dishes, made from scratch by members of the church. Usually held in September, the festival also offers interesting activities such as cultural lessons, games for children, and raffles. Numerous vendors selling various merchandise and scheduled live performances featuring authentic Greek dance are also part of this three-day event. An entertaining celebration for all, the Saint John’s Greek Festival is an enchanting way to spend an afternoon or evening in beautiful Myrtle Beach.

Myrtle Beach Irish Fest

 The Myrtle Beach Irish Fest is a great way for families to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day together on the Grand Strand. This daylong event features craft beer, delicious cuisine, vendors, children’s activities, raffles, family entertainment, and terrific live music. Held at The Market Common each year on or around St. Patrick’s Day, the event is ideal for families who want to spend the day and evening celebrating with each other, socializing, making new friends, and creating unforgettable memories.  See More

Nights of a Thousand Candles

Brookgreen Gardens Night of 1000 Candles display

Lanterns and candles illuminate the night at Brookgreen Gardens

One of the Grand Strand’s most cherished events is Nights of a Thousand Candles, which takes place on specified days in December of each year at the celebrated Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet. Visitors can watch as the botanical gardens alight from the glow of more than 4,500 candles and 2,000 lanterns. The grounds are peppered with various performers, such as Christmas bell ringers and local bands singing Christmas carols and other traditional holiday favorites.

Additionally, patrons can welcome the winter season to the south with warm beverages, classic beer and wine, and hot food, all of which are served on the grounds. The gift shop is open to visitors as well, and an indoor Christmas toy train display is set up adjacent to the souvenir shop, which has become a traditional display at this event.  See More

Myrtle Beach Marathon

Known as the fastest and flattest race in South Carolina, the Myrtle Beach Marathon is held each year in February, weather permitting. An iconic event that any running enthusiast should not miss, the Marathon is fun for people of all ages. Sometimes held on or around Valentine’s Day, this event is a great option for those planning a winter getaway.  See More

Run to the Sun Car Show

One of the largest classic car shows in the southeast, the Run to the Sun Car Show is a great choice for those planning a trip to the Grand Strand in the Spring. Owners of classic cars, trucks, and hot rods bring their vehicles to Myrtle Beach to strut their stuff, meet other classic car owners, and speak to attendees about their vehicles. This event draws thousands of visitors each year, and many locals enjoy watching the seemingly endless parade of classic cars that flood the roads to Myrtle Beach every Spring. Typically held in March or April on Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, this annual event is perfect for all automotive enthusiasts.  See More

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