From parades and festivals to home tours and food tastings,
South Carolina’s Hammock Coast offers year-round events for the whole family. No matter your interest or the season, you’re bound to find something fun, exciting, and, yes, even educational to do in our beautiful region.
If you enjoy larger events, you can visit during the Wooden Boat Show, a two-day festival in October that’s been the pride of Georgetown for more than 30 years and features a boat-building competition and race. Or come take part in the Blessing of the Inlet, a day-long event in May with musical entertainment and vendors in beautiful Murrells Inlet; or swing by in the fall for the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival, a three-day event in September at Huntington Beach State Park that features work by more than 100 artists.
And a highlight of every year since 1991 is the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art, a two-week celebration of the arts in October that’s attended by thousands. Past performers include Peabo Bryson; Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; Blood Sweat and Tears; Edwin McCain; Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.; and the Marshall Tucker Band.
If you are more comfortable with smaller events, you can come to the Hammock Coast in November for the Murrells Inlet Oyster Roast, in which participants enjoy all-you-can-eat oysters while overlooking the Murrells Inlet waterfront; or the Rotary Shag Festival in April that celebrates South Carolina’s official dance and held in historic Georgetown.
Take a look below at our signature events throughout the year.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
This annual parade in Georgetown celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. and is held on the Saturday before MLK Day. The parade, organized by the Howard High School Alumni Association, begins at 11 a.m. with lineup starting at 10 a.m. at the Beck Center on Church Street. The parade runs along Merriman Road to the Howard Center in the West End community.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national holiday recognized on the first Monday after King’s birthday, Jan. 15. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting sanitation workers who were on strike.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Howard-High-School-Alumni-Association-1378710608825130/
Featuring freshly prepared soups, chowders and chili from about 40 local restaurants, the Souper Bowl benefits Habitat for Humanity of Georgetown County and takes place on the last Saturday of January, from 5:30–8 p.m. at Precious Blood of Christ Catholic Church in the Pawleys Island community. While soup is the main attraction, one thing that makes the Souper Bowl super is the fact that each person goes home with a hand-painted bowl. Several hundred bowls are painted each year by local artists and students for the event. There is also a silent auction and drawings for prize packages from local businesses.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Applewoods House of Pancakes in Litchfield, Greenskeeper Florist in Pawleys Island, Palmetto Ace Home Center in Pawleys Island, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore on North Fraser Street in Georgetown.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HFHGeorgetownSC/
Taste of the MarshWalk
Sample signature dishes from each of the eight award-winning restaurants lining the half-mile boardwalk during the Taste of the MarshWalk, held annually in mid-January. The event also has local artisans, crafters, live music, and kids’ activities. Small dish tastings will include the areas freshest local seafood, as well as non-seafood items for the land lovers, available at $3-$5 per sample. Don’t miss the annual Bloody Mary Showdown at the MarshWalk, sponsored by Tito’s Vodka. During Taste of the MarshWalk, visit each of the following restaurants and sample their own unique Blood Mary at their own Tito’s Bloody Mary Bar! Each sampling will be $6 for drinks purchased at the designated Tito’s Bloody Mary Bar at each of the participating restaurants.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MarshWalkMI/
‘Streamin on the Harbor’ Airstream Event
In March, visitors and residents of Georgetown will have a chance to see and tour 40 silver recreational vehicles rolling down Front Street.
The South Carolina Coastal Airstream Club has partnered with the Georgetown Business Association, Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Georgetown to host a special event rally in Georgetown called “Streamin on the Harbor” from March 6-8.
The event will officially start at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 6, with about 40 Airstream recreational vehicles cruising through Georgetown’s historic district, from East Bay Park, down Front Street and ending at Dozier Street. The public is invited to welcome them. The Airstreams will park on Broad, Orange, Front and King streets.
There will be a “Mayor’s Welcome” on Friday at 6 p.m. at Francis Marion Park (Front & Broad streets). John’s RV of Columbia will have a new Airstream on display Friday afternoon and Saturday. The Airstreamer Club will have an “Open House” on Saturday from 1-3 p.m.
The SC Coastal Airstream Club will also be supporting Miss Ruby’s Kids by making a donation to help local children with early literacy. The presentation will be at 6 p.m. on Friday at Francis Marion Park (Broad and Front streets). Airstreamers will depart on Sunday morning by noon.
Fast and Furriest 5K race
Saint Frances Animal Center hosts the annual Fast and Furriest 5K Run/Walk at East Bay Park in Georgetown in mid-March. This event is the only race in the Georgetown area that encourages participants to run or walk with their dogs. The 5K race is timed and registration includes a T-shirt.
Awards are given for the top three overall male/female finishers and the top three finishers in each age division. All proceeds from the race go directly toward the care and treatment of the homeless dogs and cats of Georgetown County.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Saint-Frances-Animal-Center-135881810309/
Burning of the Socks
The South Carolina Maritime Museum in Georgetown invites you to usher in the coming of spring and the arrival of boating season during the annual Burning of the Socks event in mid-March. In addition to the sock-burning festivities, where attendees take turns throwing their socks into a bonfire, there is musical entertainment and local cuisine.
Capt. Bob Turner, who now lives in Pawleys Island and is active in the Georgetown community, began the Burning of the Socks tradition in the mid-1980s at a boatyard in Annapolis, Maryland. One year, on the first day of spring, Turner and his friends ceremoniously removed their socks, placed them on a paint tray, doused them with lighter fluid, set them on fire and then drank a beer to celebrate! Thus, began the tradition of sock burning to celebrate spring, and today there are sock-burning events in coastal communities across the country.
Turner and his family attend the annual event in Georgetown, and he usually reads his “Burning Socks for the Equinox” poem. All proceeds benefit the South Carolina Maritime Museum.
MI2020 Race for the Inlet
The family-friendly Murrells Inlet 2020 Race for the Inlet is usually held in late March in Murrells Inlet. The race features a 5K run, 5K walk, and 10K run through the breathtaking views of the Inlet.
The event has a shotgun start at 8 a.m. in front of the Murrells Inlet 2020 office, across from The Wicked Tuna. Registration for the 5K and 10K races includes a chipped bib (all runners and walkers are chipped), a MI2020 Race for the Inlet T-shirt, a swag bag, and a post-race breakfast buffet at The Claw House.
Location: 4124 Hwy 17 Business
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Murrells-Inlet-2020/1562611027294706
Prince George Plantation Tours
Each spring, the Prince George Winyah Church Women hosts the Prince George Plantation Tours, a unique opportunity to tour many of the historic plantations. Tickets are required and organizers recommend that you purchase them in advance. All proceeds are allocated to community outreach and preservation of historic church buildings. The success of the tours has made a difference in the lives of the poor, the friendless, and the needy in the community, which continues to be the church’s prayerful aim in this endeavor.
Plantation tours include an Afternoon Tea and an Oyster Roast and Pig Pickin’ at 6 p.m.
Location: 708 Highmarket St., Georgetown, SC
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prince-George-Winyah-Episcopal-Church/258937018122611
Rotary Club Shag Festival
Dance the night away to the classic tunes of a world-renowned band during the Rotary Club Shag Festival in downtown Georgetown in mid-April. Held under a spacious tent on King Street, the event goes from 7-11 p.m. The event is organized by the Georgetown Rotary Club and proceeds benefit the club’s projects.
Known for fancy footwork, twirling and gliding in step with your partner, the Shag was named the official state dance by the South Carolina legislature in 1984 and has been synonymous with warm sand, cold beer and beach music (the official popular music of South Carolina) for more than a half-century. A form of Southern swing, the Shag began along the Grand Strand as early as the 1920s.
For those who are inexperienced with Shag, the official South Carolina dance, there are lessons available beforehand, from 6-7 p.m., for no extra cost.
Blessing of the Inlet Festival
Always held the first Saturday of May, Belin Memorial United Methodist Church will host the Blessing of the Inlet Festival this year on Saturday, May 2, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is highlighted by the “Blessing of the Inlet” ceremony that begins at 11:30 a.m. in front of Belin church (creek side). The blessing will be administered by the Rev. Dr. Mike Alexander and the Rev. Marty Nason. More than 70 arts-and-crafts vendors will be selling their handmade goods, including beautiful paintings, handmade jewelry, and more!
Tasty cuisine will also be prepared by some of Murrells Inlet’s finest restaurants and church groups. There are also children’s events, which include face and hair painting, inflatables, a climbing wall, and the ever popular “Dunking Tank,” where people can take turns trying to “dunk” their friends. There will also be a full day of outstanding entertainment featuring dance troops, gospel choirs, contemporary Christian musicians, and more. There is no admission or charge for parking, and the event will be held rain or shine.
Website: http: //www.blessingoftheinlet.com
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blessingoftheinlet/
Pawleys Pavilion Reunion
Dance the night away to the upbeat rhythms of beach music during this signature Hammock Coast event celebrating the history of three pavilions on Pawleys Island that were the popular places to hang out from the 1940s-1970s. Young people would gather at these pavilions and dance to beach music still popular today. The event, which benefits Habitat for Humanity of Georgetown County, is held on a Saturday in mid-May from 6 – 11 p.m. at Pawleys Island Nature Park. It is a night filled with fabulous friends and fun, while providing funds for a home for a well-deserving family.
Habitat for Humanity is able to build simple, affordable homes because of the generosity of time, talent and funds from the community. Volunteers build the homes alongside the family, keeping costs to a minimum. You can help build this home without lifting a hammer! Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, $10 for children ages 2-12, no charge for children under 2.
Location: Pawleys Island Nature Park
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/PawleysPavilionReunion
Murrells Inlet July 4th Boat Parade
A Hammock Coast tradition, the Murrells Inlet July 4th Boat Parade is a popular celebration of our nation’s independence. Including about 100 decorated boats, it starts at the point of Garden City Beach and make its way through Murrells Inlet. Preferred viewing areas are along the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, Belin United Methodist Church, and Morse Park Landing.
T-shirts will be available for purchase, $10 each, starting one month prior to parade date with proceeds benefiting the Belin United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop 396. Locations for purchase to be announced.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MurrellsInletBoatParade/
Pawleys Island July 4th Parade
The Fourth of July Parade on Pawleys Island is a fun community event that allows residents and visitors alike to express their patriotism. Visitors and locals alike parade down the Island in anything that becomes a makeshift float – be it a boat, car, or flatbed truck – all of which are decorated in true red, white, and blue.
To enter a float in the parade, stop by the Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave., Pawleys Island to fill out an application. The cost to enter is $15 in advance, the day of the parade it is $20. Applications will be available Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. until the day of the parade.
Georgetown July 4th Fireworks & Indigo Choral Society Concert
Spend Independence Day in historic Georgetown. On the lawn of the historic Kaminski House Museum, you can experience a one-of-a-kind patriotic performance by the Indigo Choral Society. Come out, bring a chair, your favorite snacks, and camp out on the lawn for the concert for beautiful music and stick around for a fireworks display like no other. Georgetown’s celebrated fireworks start at around 9:30 p.m. Directed by the Georgetown City Fire Department, fireworks will be set off at Morgan Park and can be seen from East Bay Park, the Phone: 843-546-7706
For the concert …
Location: 1003 Front Street, Georgetown, SC
For the fireworks:
Fourth of July Celebration in Murrells Inlet
Don’t miss the annual fireworks display over the scenic waterfront along the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk. The show starts around 10 p.m. and lasts approximately 20 minutes.
Get there early to enjoy dinner and drinks at one of the restaurants along the MarshWalk. Parking will fill up quickly and there are usually crowds.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MarshWalkMI/
Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival
Huntington Beach State Park hosts this annual event that features nearly 100 artisans. The Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival is held inside the castle built by the Huntingtons, founders of Brookgreen Gardens and who donated the land that where the state park now exists. Enjoy fine art, quality crafts and local food, along with the musical offerings of several of the area’s finest musicians.
Festival admission is $10/adult, and once you pay admission you may return to the state park throughout the weekend with your festival ticket. Tickets should be purchased at the gate during the festival. There are no advance ticket sales.
PI Festival of Music and Art
Held throughout October
Since the first performance event in 1991, the Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art has grown from a small community event into a two-week celebration of the arts attended by thousands. Past performers include Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Edwin McCain, Blood Sweat and Tears, and the Marshall Tucker Band. It also features visual art displays throughout the area. Ticket prices range from $20 – $175, depending on the artist and seating.
The festival opens with the Pawleys Island Wine and Food Gala. Sample nearly 100 wines from renowned vineyards around the world and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres prepared by eight of the area’s best chefs. The evening will also include a three-hour dessert tasting, a silent auction full of wonderful trips and a complimentary wine glass. Wines will be available for purchase at prices well below retail during this special event.
The Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create and enhance cultural awareness and enrich the quality of life for residents and visitors by providing quality performances, programs, and educational opportunities in music and the arts.
Brookgreen Gardens’ Harvest Home Weekend
Scarecrow building, pumpkin painting and hayrides are the highlights of Brookgreen Gardens’ annual fall festival, called Harvest Home Weekend. This year, it will be held Oct. 3 and 4 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. This is one of Brookgreen’s biggest family events and includes great food, live kid-friendly entertainment, opportunities to meet animals, and the entire Gardens are open to explore.
Georgetown Wooden Boat Show
Always held on the third weekend in October, the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show features one of the Southeast’s best wooden boat exhibits, more than 140 classic wooden boats displayed on land and water, children’s model boatbuilding, knot tying, maritime art and crafts, food and music. A special attraction is Saturday’s Wooden Boat Challenge, where teams of two race to build a rowing skiff within a four-hour time limit and then test their boats for seaworthiness in a rowing relay on the Sampit River. Sunday is a fun-filled family-oriented day that includes a Corrugated Boat Regatta and an Opti Pram Regatta.
The Wooden Boat Show takes place on the waterfront and along Front Street in Historic Downtown Georgetown. The Wooden Boat Show is produced by the Harbor Historical Association, and all proceeds benefit the South Carolina Maritime Museum.
Location: Along Front Street, Georgetown
Atalaya Haunted Castle and Fall Festival
Oct. 24 – 25
For people who are seeking some spooky fun during the Halloween season, Huntington Beach State Park will host its annual Atalaya Fall Festival and Haunted Castle on Friday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 25, from 6-9 p.m. The Atalaya “castle” will be the setting for an evening of fright-fully fun family entertainment.
Enjoy two separate haunted house attractions: Little Scare, a not-too-scary maze of creepy rooms for the younger children; and Big Scare, a haunted castle for the brave at heart. There will be carnival games, unique photo booth opportunities, face painting, a balloon artist, and ‘make and take’ arts and crafts stations in the courtyard.
There will also be vintage spooky cartoons on an outdoor big screen, a toast-your-own-marshmallow fire pit, local ghost stories around the bonfire, and more. Food and drinks will be available for purchase from local restaurants and businesses.
Entrance to both haunted houses, children’s crafts, carnival games, and marshmallows are included in the event admission. Admission to this event is $10 for adults; $7 for children 6-15; and children 5 and under are free. The regular park admission will be waived during the festival.
Tour De Plantersville
Rescheduled for Oct. 31
An annual unique cycling event designed to bring people together, the Tour de Plantersville will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31 (rescheduled from its original date in April). The event includes an extended 62-mile bike route through the scenic streets of the Plantersville community, which organizers say should attract new riders and “serious riders.” They expect to exceed 350 riders this year and at least 500 people are expected to attend. The event also includes a cultural festival on the grounds of Plantersville Elementary School after the ride.
The Tour de Plantersville is a project of The Village Group, whose mission is “to serve as a conduit for the people, working to make positive changes in our community that will improve the quality of life for all.” The Village Group was founded in the rural African American community of Plantersville and has grown to offer activities and programming for students and residents throughout Georgetown County.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/Tour-de-Plantersville-276141802885886
Halloween on the MarshWalk
Saturday, Oct. 31
Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls of all ages will fill the MarshWalk during the annual Halloween on the MarshWalk on Saturday, Oct. 31. This event brings fun and prizes to the whole family! All seven of the MarshWalk restaurants will have great food and drink specials.
Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with trick-or-treating along the MarshWalk for the kids. The annual Children’s Costume Contest is at 6 p.m. in front of Drunken Jack’s at the Pirate Statue. Prizes will be awarded for the Most Creative, Best Group, Funniest, and Scariest for kids ages 3 and up. Kids ages 2 and under will compete for the Awes Applause award. Prizes include trophies, ribbons and candy bags.
The Adult Costume Contest begins at 7 p.m. More than $4,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the top costumes. Categories include People’s Choice, Best Duo/Group, Best Individual, Big & Bulky, Murrells Inlet Themed and Honorable Mention. Final Judging will be at 10 p.m. at Bovine’s.
For rules, regulations and complete contest details visit www.marshwalk.com , the Facebook page (@TheMarshWalkofMurrellsInlet), or call the MarshWalk answering service 843-497-3450.
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MarshWalkMI/
Historic Georgetown Bridge2Bridge Run
Saturday, Nov. 7
Running through the streets of historic downtown Georgetown, from the Sampit River Bridge to the Waccamaw River Bridge, the annual Georgetown Bridge2Bridge Run includes half-marathon, 12K and 5K races.
Runners can enjoy Georgetown’s signature tree-lined streets and beautiful Lowcountry architecture, then cross Georgetown’s gateway bridges with panoramic views of Winyah Bay. They will also see the city’s eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and historic landmarks.
All proceeds from this race will benefit a local charity, Friendship Place, which provides people with the opportunity overcome crises and work toward self-sufficiency. For more than 17 years, Friendship Place has fed the hungry, provided job readiness training, and worked to creatively and cost-effectively meet the unmet needs of the Georgetown County community.
Taste of Georgetown
Saturday, Nov. 7
Enjoy food from popular restaurants on the Hammock Coast during the annual Taste of Georgetown event from 12:30–3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7. Visit Georgetown for a day filled with food, drinks, music and fun! The Taste of Georgetown is a restaurant crawl format with restaurants located along Front Street and under a tent at Francis Marion Park.
Tickets are sold in advance and at the event for food samples from each of the over 20 participating restaurants and service organizations. Proceeds benefit the Family Justice Center of Georgetown and Horry counties. In addition, many retail shops offer discounted merchandise on the day of the event.
Murrells Inlet 2020 Oyster Roast
Saturday, Nov. 7
Belly up to the table to enjoy all-you-can-eat freshly steamed oysters during the annual Murrells Inlet 2020 Oyster Roast on Saturday, Nov. 7. It will be held from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Wicked Tuna parking lot, near the MarshWalk. There will also be a variety of other food options for those who are not oyster fans, cold libations, and musical entertainment. Tickets ate $36 in advance or $42 at the door.
Kaminski House ‘Light Up the Lawn’ Party
Saturday, Nov. 14
To kick off the Christmas holiday season, the Kaminski House Museum in Georgetown will present its annual “Light Up the Lawn” Party on Saturday, Nov. 14. The community is invited to come out to the lawn of the Kaminski House to toast the lighting of the lawn at the museum. Attendees can also take a candlelight tour of the Kaminski House Museum to see the holiday decorations in each room.
The Museum also offers a Designer Showcase, “Dressed for the Season.” Tours of the showcase run daily through December. Tickets to tour the house are $15.
Location: 1003 Front St., Georgetown, SC
Nights of a Thousand Candles
December 3 – 6; 10 – 13; and 17 – 20
See Brookgreen Gardens come to life amid the soft glow of more than 2,700 hand-lit candles and countless sparkling lights. From 3 – 10 p.m., walk the paths with a warm cup of cider, cocoa, or wine. Hear the holiday music, carolers singing, and celebrate the season with family and friends!
Tickets must be purchased before your arrival! Space is limited. Tickets are non-refundable. In case of bad weather or change of plans, tickets may be exchanged for another night, based on availability, by calling 1-(844) 271-3410. The deadline to request an exchange is 3 p.m. on the day before the date of your ticket. Member tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for children. Non-member tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. Special Rates are available for groups of 15 or more arriving together.
Location: 1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet, SC
Social media: Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BrookgreenGardens
Inlet Holiday Tour of Homes
Saturday, Dec. 5
Join Murrells Inlet 2020 for a showcase of spectacular homes across the Murrells Inlet area that are decorated for the holiday season! Spend the day, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with your friends and family touring the best of what Murrells Inlet has to offer. Tickets are $28.
Georgetown Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 5
Featuring floats and entries from local nonprofit groups, school bands and sports teams, community businesses and more, the Georgetown Christmas Parade is a fantastic event to spread holiday cheer and get everyone in the spirit of giving. It will be held on the Saturday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m. along Front Street in downtown Georgetown.
Georgetown Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, Dec. 5
From 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade will offer a spectacular display of holiday lights in the Georgetown Harbor, along the Harborwalk. All boats in the parade are lit up and many are playing festive holiday music as they cruise by spectators. Prizes are awarded for Best Crew and Best in Show.
Following the Lighted Boat Parade at 7 p.m., attendees can witness the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree at Francis Marion Park.
Andrews Christmas Parade and Festival
Saturday, Dec. 5
The Town of Andrews will hold its annual old-fashioned holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 5. The event includes a Christmas parade, vendors, merchant open houses, visits with Santa and a Christmas tree lighting. Andrews is a small rural agrarian South Carolina town whose main focus is on family, friends and church.
Phone: 843 264 8666
Murrells Inlet Christmas Parade
Sunday, Dec. 6
Join Murrells Inlet 2020 and the rest of the community for the staple event of the season, the Murrells Inlet Christmas Parade. The parade starts at 3 p.m. at Wilcox Avenue and travels down Highway 17 Business until it ends at Wachesaw Road. With local high school bands, community groups and businesses participating, the feature of the parade is the grand finale, Santa and Mrs. Claus!