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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—More than 20,000 people attended Myrtle Beach’s inaugural Winter Wonderland at The Beach festival, which ran Nov. 26, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022, and included a 50-by-70-foot real-ice skating rink and a walk-through light show with more than 10,000 lights.
“We’re very pleased with the positive feedback about Winter Wonderland’s first season and the holiday joy it brought to so many families. Producing the festival from scratch was no small feat, but our team rose to the occasion,” said Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune. “Taking what we’ve learned from our first year, we’re already looking at ways we can expand the offerings to make Winter Wonderland even better when it opens this November.”
The City of Myrtle Beach teamed up with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to create the new holiday festival. “Winter Wonderland at The Beach complemented all of the area’s holiday attractions and several major sporting events to create an economic boom for the Grand Strand,” said MBACC and CVB President and CEO Karen Riordan. “While additional data points are being compiled, initial results show that our holiday season from Thanksgiving to the New Year was the cherry on top of an already very successful 2021.”
Lodging metrics data from KeyData show the average occupancy rate within the Myrtle Beach area increased 42 percent from 2020 levels during the six-week period when Winter Wonderland was in operation.
The CVB received nearly 200 submissions from Winter Wonderland attendees who participated in an online photo contest. Of the entries, Kathy L. stated, “This is our first holiday season in Myrtle Beach. Loving the light displays.” Entries can be viewed on WinterWonderlandAtTheBeach.com.
Event organizers are making plans to scale up the 2022-23 festival with additional lights, holiday displays, entertainment, vendors and more. Details will be announced closer to the opening of the event.
Meanwhile, organizers are sharing their appreciation to city and vendor employees who operated the event as well as sponsors. Special thanks to presenting sponsor Southwest Airlines; platinum sponsors SkyWheel Myrtle Beach, Gay Dolphin Gift Cove, HARIBO, Santee Cooper, and MBACC and CVB; gold sponsor HTC; silver sponsor Ripley’s Aquarium and Believe It or Not Museum; and bronze sponsors Coastal Carolina National Bank, 44 & King Southern Pub, Sea Dip Ocean Front Resort, and The Shoppes at Magnolia Row.
Editor’s Note: The attendance estimate is provided from the City of Myrtle Beach and includes the purchase of 16,829 tickets as well as participants who received complimentary admission through Community Night, sponsorship packages or other promotional reasons. Press-ready images from Winter Wonderland at The Beach are available HERE.
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