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Story by Ian Guerin
Your fall golf trip to South Carolina’s Grand Strand is booked, the courses have been selected and the hotel rooms are locked in well in advance. But what’s next during your stay in Myrtle Beach? The area knows how to entertain visitors throughout the year, and the time between September and December - when temperatures cool some and the Atlantic Ocean is somewhat secondary - is no different. Here are five calendar-marking events for 2018 well worth your time and money that simply aren’t available anywhere else.
The 27th annual Greek Festival at St. John’s the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Myrtle Beach (Sept. 27-30) will again be one of the most highly anticipated festivals the area hosts this fall. Inside the church’s primary hall, an array of traditional dishes - including gyros and souvlaki - are available in decent portions, while the outer walkway is turned into a dessert lover’s paradise. More food, Greek music and various vendors then line the outer courtyard. Don’t forget the Ouzo.
COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL
Coastal Carolina’s budding sports program announced a move to the NCAA Division I-A (Football Bowl Subdivision) not all that long ago. And for the second time this fall, the schedule will start to reflect the higher level. Home dates against UAB (Sept. 8), Campbell (Sept. 15), Louisiana-Monroe (Oct. 13), Appalachian State (Nov. 3), Arkansas State (Nov. 10) and Georgia Southern (Nov. 17) will add a number of opponents from regions of the country previously unseen in Conway prior to the move to the FBS level. Single-game tickets are extremely affordable.
TASTE OF THE TOWN
Arguably one of Myrtle Beach’s biggest social events of the year, Taste of the Town overtakes the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for one night. This fall, the food-heavy function will occur on October 8. It allows patrons the opportunity to eat smaller portions of most of their favorite eateries, with everything from Mexican cuisine to high-end steaks and sushi dotting the landscape. Come hungry, grab some grub and then take advantage of the oversized beer garden in the middle of the Convention Center floor.
LITTLE RIVER SHRIMPFEST
One of the north Strand’s biggest attractions each year will bring the normally quiet town of Little River alive in a big way again, as the 14th annual ShrimpFest is expected to draw more than 20,000 locals and visitors (more than two-and-half times the town’s normal population) to the historic waterfront. This family friendly event will be held Oct. 13-14 and features tons of fresh-caught seafood, several other food options and plenty of activity for adults and children via more than 150 vendors.
The event, which takes place in mid-fall each year (2018 date TBD) has grown into a Grand Strand staple. While raising funds for the coastline and adding enjoyment to the beaches, Surfrider’s local chapter’s 19th annual Chilympics is a tribute to great food (especially the chili), brews and music. Held along the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, entry is free, with samples of the large number of competitors and their famed chili are available for a reasonable figure.