North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival Canceled

North Myrtle Beach, SC – March 13, 2020 – Today, the City of North Myrtle Beach made the difficult decision to cancel its March 14 St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.
Although as late as yesterday SCDHEC advised through its Twitter account that the status of COVID-19 in South Carolina does not indicate that cancelation of events or schools is needed at this time, over the past 24 hours many national events and more South Carolina events canceled, including the Monday after the Masters event in North Myrtle Beach.
Additionally, over the past 24 hours, some North Myrtle Beach residents who feel they may be more at risk to COVID-19 than others have expressed strong discomfort over a large public event held in the city at this time. As more national and South Carolina events canceled yesterday, some parade and festival participants opted to withdraw from the local event this year.
The weather will be great this weekend and North Myrtle Beach is wide open for business.
We encourage our residents and visitors to make a special effort to patronize North Myrtle Beach businesses this weekend and throughout the coming tourism season.
We ask that you pay special attention to businesses located on Main Street, the route and location for the annual parade and festival. These businesses invested in goods and services in preparation for the now-canceled parade and festival and are deserving of your support.
City officials met with North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce officials and Chamber officials concur with the City’s difficult decision to cancel this event.
Patrick Dowling
Public Information Officer
City of North Myrtle Beach

St. Patrick's Day Parade and Festival - North Myrtle Beach, March 14, 2020

March 13 11:00 a.m. Update

The NMB St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festivasl has been canceled. Read more here:

Saturday, March 14, 2020
Parade: 9 a.m.
Festival: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Free Admission | Free Parking

The 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival and Parade will be held on Main Street on Saturday, March 14, 2020. This one-day, rain or shine event brings approximately 30,000 to celebrate everything Irish and welcome the coming of spring. A magical parade begins the festivities at 9:00 a.m., followed by three stages of live music and a children’s area with rides and amusements from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Along Main Street over 150 vendors will display their crafts, services, information, products, or serve a variety of treats.

Entertainment Schedule:

Freedom Boat Club Community Stage (Oak Drive)

11:15 AM – Triple Toe Cloggers

11:30 AM – Ocean Drive Mini Chiefs Dance Club

11:45 PM – Parade Awards

12:00 PM – Mark McKinney & Company

2 – 4:00 PM – Cornbread

Flynn’s Irish Tavern Stage (Near Flynn’s)

11:00 AM – Brenden O’Connor

11:45 AM – Coastal Carolina Shields Pipes & Drums

12:00 PM – Brenden O’Connor

12:45 PM – The Academy of Dance and Fine Arts Dancers

1:00 PM – Tan and Sober Gentleman

2:15 PM – Leprechaun Contest

2:30 PM – Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest

2:45 – 4:00 PM – Tan and Sober Gentleman

Boulineau's Ocean Stage (Near Duffy’s)

11:00 AM – Retrograde

1:30 PM – 4:00 PM – The Tonez


Leprechaun Contest - Show off your love of all things Irish by competing in the 32nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival Leprechaun Contest. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, appearance, enthusiasm and energy.

Register at the Main Stage @ Flynn’s Irish Tavern before 2:00 pm. Pre-registration is also available at the Festival Information booth (corner of Hillside Drive and Main Street) before 1:30 pm. Meet at the stairs of the Main Stage on festival site at 2:00 pm. Contest begins at 2:15 pm.

Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest - Think you have what it takes? Enter into the Shepherd’s Pie Eating Contest at this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival. First to clear their plate (without using their hands) wins bragging rights and a stylish plaque designed by Coastal Engravers.

Register at the Main Stage @ Flynn’s Irish Tavern before 2:00 PM. Pre-registration is also available at the Festival Information booth (corner of Hillside Drive and Main Street) before 1:30 PM. Meet at the stairs of the Main Stage on festival site at 2:15 PM. Contest begins at 2:30 PM.

For more information visit or email

South Carolina Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 8-14

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) and the National Weather Service jointly sponsor this week to remind you that severe storms, tornadoes, and flash floods are significant hazards in South Carolina and people need to take proper safety precautions.

SCEMD and the National Weather Service are promoting awareness of the hazards associated with severe weather, including tornadoes and floods, and the procedures that help keep people safe.

A highlight of the week is the annual statewide tornado drill. The drill is conducted in close coordination with the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. The State Superintendent of Education is also encouraging schools statewide to participate.

The National Weather Service will use the Tornado Warning product on NOAA tone-alert weather radio when the drill is conducted. During the drill, the National Weather Service will use a real-event code, "TOR" on NOAA Weather Radio. The “TOR” code will activate tone-alert weather radios that are set to receive tornado warnings, and those radios will broadcast the exercise message.

The drill will be conducted on Wednesday, March 11, at 9:00 a.m. Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others will participate in this annual event. The purpose of the drill is to test communication systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

To learn more about Severe Weather Week and the topics covered, please visit: 

North Myrtle Beach City Council Recognizes Detectives Who Solved the Shawn Marie Neal Murder Case

During their March 2 meeting, North Myrtle Beach City Council members recognized the detectives who worked to solve the 1996 Shawn Marie Neal case. Neal was murdered on June 2, 1996 in North Myrtle Beach. Detectives and SLED investigated, but with few leads, the case went cold.

North Myrtle Beach detectives did not give up on the case and in 2017, relying on advances in DNA collection and cataloging, detectives reopened the Neal investigation, hoping to bring closure for the victim’s family members and to serve justice.

Some murder scene items suspected of containing additional DNA material were sent to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Forensic Lab for analysis. The lab identified a new DNA profile of a previously unknown suspect, Ronald Lee Moore. 

North Myrtle Beach detectives learned Moore was a suspect in a series of burglaries, unsolved sexual assault cases and an additional unsolved homicide case from Maryland. Review of those case files showed close similarities between Moore’s suspected victims in Maryland and the Neal homicide.

Moore had no known ties to North Myrtle Beach but detectives learned he had friends in Louisiana he would visit. It is possible that he committed the 1996 murder as he passed through city on his way from Maryland to Louisiana. Probable cause was established to charge Moore with the death of Shawn Marie Neal. 

Ultimately, public records revealed Moore died while jailed in Louisiana on unrelated charges in 2008. Moore cannot be formally charged and tried for the murder of Shawn Marie Neal but North Myrtle Beach detectives were able to close this case, noting that the only known suspect/offender died.

Over the years, 13 North Myrtle Beach detectives were involved in helping to move this case forward to closure.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information - City of North Myrtle Beach

We have received some phone calls and emails asking about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to avoid contracting it. Here is some basic information:


Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Existing underlying heart, respiratory or other medical conditions, coupled with older age, may play a significant role in cases where people have died from COVID-19.


It is important to keep things in perspective. Millions of Americans come down with the flu each year, and tens of thousands of Americans die from the flu each year. Also, the flu virus is not always the same from year to year. It can and does mutate into different strains, catching the world by surprise, at which point new vaccines are developed to deal with the changes. As things currently stand, the impact COVID-19 is having on the United States is light years away from the flu's impact.


Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, although an all-out effort is underway to develop one.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this or any other virus.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

-- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

-- Stay home when you are sick.

-- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

-- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

-- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (Sing the song “Happy Birthday” twice), especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

-- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

-- These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. CDC does NOT recommend people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of the virus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers, people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility), or people responding to an emergency call pertaining to COVD-19 or other virus condition.


At this time, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.




Amended Paid Parking Rules Now in Effect in North Myrtle Beach


During the February 17 North Myrtle Beach City Council meeting, Council members passed final reading of amendments to Article II, Stopping, Standing and Parking of the City Code of Ordinances.

The amendments apply to public parking lots on either side of Ocean Boulevard, and certain side streets that intersect with Ocean Boulevard. The paid parking season is March 1-October 31.

On February 24, the City will begin to accept parking decal applications at the Parking Office located in the Finance Department at City Hall, 1018 Second Avenue South. City Hall is open Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

These are the amended rules governing parking decal applications:

1.  A full-time resident whose vehicle (i.e., golf cart, LSV, motorcycle, automobile or pickup truck that must completely fit into a standard parking space) is registered to their North Myrtle Beach address may apply for a maximum of two complimentary parking decals per property address. If the decal is for a golf cart, a copy of the SCDMV permit registered to the resident’s North Myrtle Beach address is required. Each household may also purchase one additional parking decal for $200 annually.

1.  A nonresident property owner may apply for one complimentary parking decal for their personal vehicle (i.e., golf cart, LSV, motorcycle, automobile or pickup truck that must completely fit into a standard parking space). If the decal is for a golf cart, a copy of the SCDMV permit registered to the nonresident property owner’s North Myrtle Beach address is required. If applying for the vehicle decal, the vehicle does not have to be registered to the North Myrtle Beach property address but must be registered in the property owner’s name. Proof of residential property ownership is required. Each household may also purchase one additional parking decal for $200 annually.

1.  Horry County residents who do not own property or reside in the city of North Myrtle Beach may purchase one decal for their personal vehicle (i.e., LSV, motorcycle, automobile or pickup truck that must completely fit into a standard parking space) for $200 annually. A maximum of 200 parking decals are available, issued on a first come, first served basis.


-- Decals issued in 2019 have not expired and are good through the end of the 2020 parking season.

-- Driver’s license and current vehicle (golf cart, automotive) registration are required to apply for a decal. Non-resident property owners must also show proof of residential property ownership. Golf carts must be registered through the SCDMV to the owner’s North Myrtle Beach address.

-- In cases where a windshield has been replaced, vehicle ownership transferred, etc., parking decals must be returned to the Parking Office to receive a replacement decal. Parking decals are not transferable.


Beginning March 1, the City will charge a $2 per hour parking fee on the following side streets, which are located East of Nixon, Perrin, Hillside, Lake, Seaview and Spring. (If a street listed below extends West of these boundaries, there are no parking fees on that side of the boundaries.)

1st Ave North
3rd Ave North
Hillside Drive from 3rd Ave North to 11th Ave North
4th Ave North
5th Ave North
6th Ave North
7th Ave North
8th Ave North
9th Ave North
10th Ave North
11th Ave North
12th Ave North
13th Ave North
14th Ave North
15th Ave North
16th Ave North
Hillside Drive from 16th Ave North to 18th Ave North
17th Ave North
18th Ave North
20th Ave North
21st Ave North
Spring St from Sea Mountain Hwy to Ocean Blvd
23rd Ave North
25th Ave North
32nd Ave North
34th Ave North
39th Ave North
46th Ave North
Alongside of and behind Lake Drive/50th Ave North paid parking lot
55th Ave North
57th Ave North
58th Ave North
59th Ave North
East Nixon St from 53rd Ave North to 61st Ave North
The Point located at the dead end of Ocean Boulevard in Cherry Grove
1st Ave South
6th Ave South
Perrin Drive from 7th Ave South to 8th Ave South
9th Ave South
20th Ave South
28th Ave South
Seaview St from 34th Ave South to 36th Ave South
Seaview St from 39th Ave South to 48th Ave South
46th Ave South
48th Ave South

Currently, there is no definition to parking spaces along side streets perpendicular to Ocean Boulevard. In coming years, parking along high-demand side streets could be defined using paved road shoulders, crushcrete, and/or landscaping.

Questions about the parking decal application process may be directed to Parking Clerk Carolina Garcia at or (843) 280-5509.

Questions about City policy regarding the paid parking program may be directed to Public Information Officer Pat Dowling at

Results - FY 2021 North Myrtle Beach City Council Budget Retreat

The North Myrtle Beach City Council held its FY 2021 budget retreat meeting February 24-25 at Santee Cooper’s Wampee Conference Center.

The City’s fiscal year is July 1-June 30.

The proposed budget involves 17 separate funds with significant interrelations and transfers between the various funds.

The proposed FY 2021 budget is about $119 million, an increase of about $27 million over the FY 2020 budget.

The budget proposes a property tax increase of about 7.9 mils, most of which would go toward funding an expansion of the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex. The proposed tax millage increase equates to a $79 property tax increase on a $250,000 owner-occupied home and 50% more on a nonresidential property of equal value.

In 2019, using a short-term loan, the City paid $4.2 million for the purchase of 96 acres adjacent to the existing 162-acre Park & Sports Complex. Part of the revenue generated by the proposed 7.9 mils increase would pay off the short-term loan, the rest would fund payments on a multi-year bond issue for construction of six new ballfields, seven soccer/lacrosse fields, a family entertainment center, a possible water-play area, and more.

Staff introduced the expansion project and its currently projected cost of about $25 million to City Council at the budget retreat in order to get a feel for Council’s appetite for the project. Council liked the project and the positive financial and quality of life impacts it offers North Myrtle Beach. City management will now move toward getting more precise figures on costs for each element within the project, enabling City Council to come to a better understanding of whether to bond all of the proposed improvements at one time, do key elements now and save some for the future, or do some of the proposed amenities but not others.

City Council has indicated that the proposed millage increase of 7.9 mils could decrease by the same amount after retiring the bond. Council took that approach with the millage increase that helped fund the original Park & Sports Complex.

The City’s current property tax rate is 37.1 mils. For the current budget year, City Council reduced its millage rate by 6.1 mils to reflect the end of the eight-year bond issue with which the City purchased 162 acres and constructed the original Park & Sports Complex. If the proposed 7.9 mils increase is adopted, the City’s new property tax rate would be 45 mils, still one of the lowest in Horry County and South Carolina for a full-service city.

Since opening in March 2014, the Park & Sports Complex generated over $100 million in new, direct revenue for the North Myrtle Beach economy, primarily in the off-season. The facility has attracted over two million visitors. The expanded facility would enable the City to compete for and host larger sports tourism events, and host multiple events simultaneously. It would also position the City to provide continued opportunities for its growing youth and adult recreation leagues, and add increased entertainment, festival, special events and other opportunities for residents and visitors alike.

The proposed budget includes construction of the 18th Avenue North Ocean Outfall beginning in fall 2020. Construction would occur over two years in the fall, winter and early spring months. While other outfalls were funded through a bond issue, the City delayed this new outfall by a couple of years in order to accomplish the estimated $14 million project ($12 million City and $2 million state) without borrowing funds. Smaller storm water drainage projects are also included in the proposed budget.

The proposed budget includes initial funding for an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and a Data Management Center (DMC) on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway. These facilities would be constructed in phases over a couple of years and would share a site with a new fire station, the latter coming on line several years from now to serve development in the city limits on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The EOC would provide the City with a secure, centralized facility from which to manage severe impacts to North Myrtle Beach from Category 3 and stronger hurricanes. Currently, the City does not have emergency operations capabilities west of the Waterway.

The DMC would provide the City with added redundancy and a secure location from which to continue to run the City in the event a major hurricane or other disaster compromised infrastructure located east of the Waterway.

The proposed budget includes funding to help establish a free June 15-August 15 Coast RTA bus route in North Myrtle Beach, utilizing two buses that offer residents and visitors the opportunity to park their cars and ride to multiple locations along Highway 17 and Ocean Boulevard.

Coast RTA will also established a paid bus route that continues bus travel into North Myrtle Beach as part of a route that currently ends in Myrtle Beach. The service, which would begin in October, would have multiple stops in the city.

For both offerings, Coast RTA offers an App that shows where its buses are and when they will arrive at specific locations.

Coast RTA, the City, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce and others will promote both bus services when they are finalized.

Equipment replacement for departments continues on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Under the proposed budget, the year-end balance for the General Fund would be about $12.5 million, above the 35% fund balance policy.

Funding for Beach Renourishment will come from state accommodations tax funds. The City sets aside funding each year to ensure its ability to participate in the major federal beach renourishment program that occurs every 10 years or so.

The proposed budget projects Beach Services showing a profit and net equity in excess of $1.2 million at the close of the FY 2021 budget cycle.

The employee Pay-for-Performance matrix remains the same as for FY 2020.

General Obligation debt remains at $0 until issuance of the proposed Park Improvement Bonds occurs.

City Council discussed the possibility of initiating a long-term focus on public art for City parks and other public areas. Council members instructed the planning department to assess what other cities of similar size have accomplished in this regard and to report back to them.