A Look Inside the Sea of Green

February 2023
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of the City of North Myrtle Beach

We celebrate the North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival – the Grand Strand’s largest

Everybody loves a parade. And that’s especially indicative when one has been around for 33 years, like the North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, the largest parade on the Grand Strand. 

For this issue’s View from Here, as a preview to this year’s event on March 11, we wanted to get an inside peek into what makes this parade such a success by chatting with Angel Sylvester, special events and programs director for the City of North Myrtle Beach. She’s been involved in the St. Patty’s Day parade for the last seven years. 

“It’s definitely a popular festival – especially a good shoulder season festival,” says Sylvester. “I think it’s a kickoff to spring and, after a long winter, everybody’s ready to get out and have some fun! Starting at nine o’clock in the morning, it’s a huge parade. It’s televised locally [CW21] and we also broadcast it out to several states, like Tennessee and Ohio, so, it’s actually a national parade too. It’s a great way to make people aware of all that we do in North Myrtle and this part of the Grand Strand. Everybody books their vacations around it.”

Here’s a bigger breakdown of the parade’s numbers that proves its popularity:

  1. 100+ - The number of floats, including marching bands from here to Ireland, in the parade (last year, there were 140). Judges will be stationed at the Horseshoe to vote for their “Best” parade entries. WPDE personalities Ed Piotrowski and Jennifer Abney will be announcing the parade at the Community Stage located at Main Street and N. Oak Drive.
  2. 2 miles for 2 hours - The length of the parade.
  3. About 150 - The number of local and regional vendors (arts, crafts, and Irish food) serving the crowd along Main Street. (Vendor registration opens in November of the year prior and fills up quickly.)
  4. 4 - The number of entertainment stages – Community, Irish, and Ocean – hosting Irish pipe bands and Irish dancers, plus a Kids Area featuring rides, games, face painting, stilt walkers, and balloon animals. Keep an eye out for all the street entertainers and leprechauns that scurry around this festival.
  5. 3 - The number of contests held at the festival: The Leprechaun Contest, Jr. Leprechaun Contest, and Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest, where the winner is the first to clear their plate without using their hands.

More Info!

  • Date: Saturday, March 11
  • Parade Start Time: 9 a.m., starting on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach and ending at Ye Olde Kings Highway
  • Festival Start Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Admission to the event and parking are free. For more information, visit www.nmb.us/411/St-Patricks-Day-Parade-Festival.