by Emily Smith
October is a busy time for the Grand Strand. People gather to celebrate a variety of interests and hobbies— everything from art to shrimp.
Throughout October, festivals pop up in Pawleys Island, and stretch up to Loris, Little River, and inland to Conway.
The beginning of the month starts off with the Bike Week Fall Rally. Held from Sept. 30 through Oct. 6, this is the less crowded counterpart to the spring event. Murrells Inlet is the headquarters of a sort, but expect to see bikes throughout the Grand Strand.
The first weekend of October, Brookgreen Gardens hosts their annual Harvest Home Festival, a popular family event for celebrating autumn. There are hayrides, pumpkin patches, and scarecrow building. The gardens remain open to explore during the event.
On Saturday of that same weekend, Conway will hold their 11th annual Live Oak Art and Music Festival on the lawn of the historic Horry County Courthouse. Guests can enjoy live music while perusing the local art exhibits and mixing and mingling with the artists.
Oktoberfest at the Market Common will take place the following Friday and Saturday, on October 12th and 13th. There will be a variety of beer vendors from which to sample, but the festival remains fun for all ages with activities such as face painting, bouncy houses, and authentic German food.
At the same time, in Little River, the Shrimp Festival will be making a splash on the waterfront. This is the 15th year the community is hosting the event. There are over 100 vendors that are a part of the festivities, with shrimp, of course, being a main star.
St. John’s Greek Festival returns October 17 – 20, bringing back their popular displays of colorful traditional dances, delicious food, fun activities, and stalls to shop at. This “little piece of Greece” has been a beloved tradition in Myrtle Beach for almost thirty years.
The same weekend, the downtown area of Conway turns spooky with their yearly Ghost Walk. Tour guides lead guests throughout the streets during the twilight hours regaling them with haunted history tales about the area.
The Grand Strand only becomes more haunted in the final weekend of October. The North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex will set up for their Howl-o-Scream on the 26th, with thrills for adrenaline junkies and scare-free fun for younger children.
Many places will be hosting trick-or-treat events, including but not limited to Broadway at the Beach, Barefoot Landing, and the Market Common. Haunted houses and mazes will be popping up throughout the month as well, including Carolina Forest’s Haunted House in the Farm.
No matter which festival you decide to visit, you’ll be in for a good time.