If you live in the Grand Strand and you've never been to a Sun Fun Festival event, then you'll want to mark your calendar for May 5-7 for time spent along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk enjoying live music, parachute jumps, a parade and of course, the beach. While the festival isn't a "locals only" affair (everyone is welcome), for decades the weekend was held for locals in the Myrtle Beach area.
“The Sun Fun Festival is Myrtle Beach’s longest-running event, first starting in 1951 as a way for locals to come together before they welcomed back vacationers for the summer season,” explained Karen Riordan, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).
She continues, "While festival activities have changed over the years, the nostalgic love for this time-honored tradition remains as strong as ever."
Celebrating its 68th year, the Sun Fun Festival provides free entertainment in downtown Myrtle Beach centered around Plyler Park. From live music and kids activities to exciting parachute jumps and the beloved Sun Fun Parade, there is something for everyone.
The three-day event kicks off on Friday evening with Trial By Fire on stage at Plyler Park. The North Carolina-based musicians will perform crowd-pleasing Journey classics like “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Wheel in the Sky.”
That same night at 9 p.m., the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team will light up the skies over the beach with their famous Pyro Jump. Two daytime jumps are also planned for Saturday at Noon and 4 p.m.
The festival’s parade strolls along Ocean Boulevard from 8th Ave. N. to 16th Ave. N. on Saturday at 10 a.m. with bands, Shriner cars, floats and fanfare. Registration is open for participants and cash prizes will be awarded to the best Sun Fun themed, youth and nonprofit entries.
Additional musical performances include Cassette Rewind playing ’80s hits on Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by beach music from Swinging Medallions at 7 p.m., and wrapping up the weekend are The Tonez on Sunday at 3 p.m.