Along the Grand Strand, fall is the season of the festival. It might be great food, live music, unique vendors, dancing or just a big dose of tradition, but no matter the reason, locals love a great festival. Whether you're a newly-settled local or a born and raised area native, here are some of the best fests this fall.
September 16: The Aynor Hoe-Down in the city of Aynor - This harvest festival is known for its lively annual parade, music, food, vendors and tons of excitement for the whole family.
September 22-24: The Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival at Huntington Beach State Park - This family-friendly festival is celebrating its 42nd year with live music, food, and more than 100 unique vendors.
September 28-October 1: The 25th Annual St. John's Greek Festival at St. John the Baptist Greek Church - Enjoy authentic Greek food, dancing, games, vendors, live music and more (not to mention amazing baklava). Opa!
September 30: The 14th Annual Irish Italian International Festival in North Myrtle Beach - What's better than a great Irish festival? An Irish AND Italian festival! This all-ages festival is a real international experience, no passport required!
October 8: The 18th Annual Lip-Rippin' Chilympics Chili Cook Off in Murrells Inlet - This is the chili-lovers' event of the year! The Chilympics features some of the most original and interesting chili concoctions you will ever taste. From traditional to crazy spicy to totally unusual, the Chilimasters at this cook off competition will tingle your taste buds. This event is family friendly and includes a kids area with face painting and (weather permitting) bounce houses or other outdoor fun. All proceeds of this event benefit the Grand Strand Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to protect our oceans and beaches. Stop by the Surfrider Foundation booth while you're there to learn how you can get involved and make a difference!
October 14-15: The 13th Annual Little River Shrimp Festival in Little River - A festival celebrating fresh shrimp and other delish local fresh-caught culinary gems of the sea is a seafood lover's dream. Add a fun family atmosphere, music, vendors and maybe some more fresh seafood, and this is one festival you'll want to put on your calendar right now. Go ahead, we'll wait.
October 17: The 34th Annual Taste of the Town at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center from 4PM to 10PM - While not a festival in the traditional sense, this event is a great opportunity to sample offerings from tons of Grand Strand restaurants and eateries. Stop by and grab a nibble from your favorites or be adventurous and find some new favorites to dazzle your taste buds. Sample some new sips at the beer and wine garden for an unforgettable evening. P.S. To really enjoy this event to its fullest, you might want to hire a babysitter for the kiddos and make it a great date night out.
October 21: The 38th Annual Loris Bog-Off in Loris - Every year, locals turn out in droves for the Loris Bog-Off. If you're a newly-settled local, you might be wondering what the heck is a Bog-Off? It's a culinary showdown featuring the mighty chicken bog. What's a chicken bog? If you want to know, you've got to go! This family-friendly event also features live music and a one-of-a-kind car and tractor show.
Fall is festival season down here along the Grand Strand. We don't have a special festival for *everything* but we sure try! Come out and meet some new friends, sample some great eats and new brews, dance with the music and soak up everything this year's fantastic fall festival season has to offer.