Shark Wake Park – New World-Class Water Attraction in North Myrtle Beach

June 17, 2016 is an important day for the Grand Strand! Shark Wake Park opens South Carolina’s first full-size cable watersports park at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. Beach vacationers in love with action sports will now be able to enjoy the extreme nature of wakeboarding without a boat.


Greg Norman Jr. (son of Hall-of-Fame golfer Greg Norman Sr.) is the entrepreneur behind this new watersports attraction. Accomplished golfer himself, Norman Jr. also is a professional kite boarder and wakeboarder. According to him, the Shark Wake Park in North Myrtle Beach came to life because of the true southern hospitality of the local community, shared by residents, the business community, and the local government.


Located at 150 Citizens Circle (off of Robert Edge Parkway and SC-31), Shark Wake Park features a five-tower full-size cable (in excess of 3,200 feet) which is capable of pulling eight to nine riders at once, as well as a shorter two-tower cable system for younger children.  The water park also includes multiple jumps and rails of various degrees of difficulty (open to all skill levels), allowing both first-timers and professionals to enjoy water skiing and wakeboarding.


In addition to the cables, the park also includes:

  • Shark Shack (food, refreshments, beer and wine)
  • Pro Shop
  • Ronix wake gear featuring a “Try It Before You Buy It” program
  • Wakesurf school (coming soon)
  • Aqua Park (opening 2017)


Tips for a Safe Treat-or-Trick Night

Halloween night is one of the most sought-after nights for children. There are many things to consider for getting everything under control, especially since children's safety is at play. Take a look at these important tips before you take your child out for the night.




Plan the route carefully - minimize the distance children have to travel by planning the best routes in advance. This way you eliminate both sore feet and frustration. Surroundings may look unfamiliar at night, presenting a risk to get lost.

Make sure the kids wear comfortable shoes - avoid high heels and double-tie the shoe laces. Tripping in the dark is not fun.

Use lots of light or reflective tape - many accidents happened because drivers could not see the children in time to avoid a disaster. Carry a flash light to light the path at all times.

Dress the children is costumes of appropriate length - it can be dangerous for children to drag their costumes on the ground at night, risking tripping. Bring the costume to an appropriate length after you purchase it so it does not touch the ground.

Pranks are not a good idea - especially on children. Scary costumes should get you far enough on Halloween, no need to add extra tension to the night. Children are much more sensitive than adults, and a bad joke might have a negative impact.

No masks if possible and avoid toxic make-up - it may be hard to breathe for a child with a mask on, not to mention, it reduces visibility, especially at night. Use only safe make-up so you don't trigger an allergic reaction or worse.

Use flexible props - rubber and plastic are much better choices for costume props. The child may like a sword or weapon, but the night is long, and the risk of injuring someone or tripping on a sharp stick should be avoided.

Check your child's candy - at the end of the night, go through the candy and remove anything that looks suspicious or it is not in its original wrapping. The child may fuss about reducing the "harvest," but safety is more important.

Welcome Back! All Roads Open and Lead to Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Myrtle Beach Area Welcomes Visitors With Open Roads, Sunshine

While national and regional media coverage regarding the recent storms and floods quickly created questions and concerns from visitors, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce immediately implemented a plan to address concerns and reassure travelers that the Myrtle Beach area businesses and its beaches are open for business. Utilizing the current fall campaign "60 More Days of Summer," the chamber has added messaging to the campaign advising visitors that the area is open for business, with all roads open and leading to the Myrtle Beach area. Visitors in over 70 key markets are receiving Myrtle Beach's updated advertising via digital, broadcast, website, social media and e-mail marketing channels.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce continues to refine its fall campaign with updated visitor travel information designed to minimize lodging cancellations by reassuring and welcoming travelers to come see Myrtle Beach this fall season - see sample video spot:


 “We couldn’t be happier to be welcoming visitors to the beautiful Myrtle Beach area during what we locals refer to as the best time of year to visit,” said Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “We feel very fortunate to have experienced such a minor setback in our weather and to have had our roads open for travel so quickly, allowing our visitors ease and safety as they head to the beach. With all hotels and attractions open for business and beautiful weather in the forecast, we expect a typical, busy week ahead for visitors and businesses alike.”


Beach-goers will enjoy area attractions, live entertainment, great dining options, and accommodations alongside even more affordable rates with the Myrtle Beach area’s fall campaign “Relax and Unwind: 60 More Days of Summer.” Through October, a myriad of attractions and accommodations offer deals for travelers looking to get away this fall. For more information visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com/60days.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and SOCCER!

"You look funny," exclaimed my son when I finished crawling into the blue plastic bubble and managed to stand up. I may look that way I said to myself, but that's exactly why I am here: to have a fun game! I waved good-bye to my son turning the big bubble I was wrapped inside to its side and ran to intercept a soccer ball. Let the fun begin!

It all started on a sunny, yet chilly, mid-winter Saturday morning on a green field at the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. It was Jan.10, the free Bubble Soccer Introductory Play Day on the McLeod Seacoast Meadow. A dozen red and blue plastic shiny bubbles were neatly aligned on the side of the field, next to a tent hosting the referees and the sign-up and liability waiver sheet table.

A few youngsters were already wrapped up inside the bubbles, chasing a soccer ball, having fun rolling over and bumping into each other. I looked at my wife and my son and they both smiled at me, nodding their heads: Go ahead, try it. I signed the waiver, listened to a few tips on how to hold the bubble as a backpack and off I went to join my team.

The new game: Bubble Soccer
The new game: Bubble Soccer

Two young entrepreneurs, Henry and Jessica Mora, husband and wife, founded Myrtle Beach Bubble Soccer after watching a video on YouTube. They saw how the popular British game, which involves participants playing soccer while wrapped in a huge bubble, has been rapidly growing in popularity in the United States. They quickly decided it was the opportunity for a great business: more fun than soccer, safer than football, cheaper than hockey, and bouncier than basketball.

Henry and Jessica Mora
North Myrtle Beach is the first to offer a Bubble Soccer league in South Carolina. I had a chance to talk to Henry and Jessica Mora before the kick-off of the event. Their enthusiasm and excitement is truly contagious. With a huge smile on their faces, they shared that bubble soccer is one of the most action-packed, entertaining, delightful sports to watch, and a safer version of soccer. Take one-part soccer, one-part pillow fight, one-part Vaudeville slapstick comedy, mix well, and what you get looks a little bit like this:


Henry and Jessica take reservations for birthdays, fundraisers, church/corporate events, and even just friendly backyard games. You can contact them on their website: www.myrtlebeachbubblesoccer.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/myrtlebeachbubblesoccer.  For a list of active bubble soccer leagues throughout the nation, check out www.nationalbubblesoccer.com.

Resources:

Make a Plan and...Quit!

Celebrate The Great American Smokeout Day


The American Cancer Society marks the third Thursday of November The Great American Smokeout Day for an important reason. This date sends a message to people across the nation to take a step toward a healthier lifestyle. Today signifies supporting those who do smoke in making an effort to quit, as well as reducing cancer.

If you are a smoker, use The Great American Smokeout Day as the perfect opportunity to stop smoking and protect your health and the health of your loved ones. It is not news that smoking inflicts immediate damage to your body, threatening your future with increased risks for cancer, heart attack, lung disease, and early death.

Break the smoking habit

Here is a plan to help you quit smoking, according to HelpGuide.Org . Use these tips to break the addiction, manage your cravings, and kick the habit for good.

Start your stop smoking plan with START


S = Set a quit date.

Choose a date within the next two weeks so you have enough time to prepare without losing your motivation to quit. If you mainly smoke at work, quit on the weekend, so you have a few days to adjust to the change.

T = Tell family, friends and co-workers that you plan to quit.

Let your friends and family in on your plan to quit smoking, and tell them you need their support and encouragement. Look for a quit buddy who wants to stop smoking as well. You can help each other get through the rough times.

stop smoking

A = Anticipate and plan for the challenges you'll face while quitting.

Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first 3 months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing ahead for common challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings.

R = Remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car and workplace.

Throw away all of your cigarettes (no emergency pack), lighters, ashtrays and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke. Shampoo your car, clean your drapes and carpet, and steam your furniture.

T = Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit.

Your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal and suggest other alternatives. If you can't see a doctor, you can get many products over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store, including the nicotine patch, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum.

no-more-smoking
Here is the great news about quitting: Smoking is not physically addictive for very long after you stop smoking.  Many studies have shown that about 100 hours after your last cigarette, all of the nicotine is out of your bloodstream.  And once all the nicotine is out of your bloodstream, you’re no longer physically addicted to cigarettes.

If you vacation in North Myrtle Beach or if you are a resident of this area, check out Smoke Free NMB, a grassroots organization with a mission to reduce the effects of secondhand smoke (SHS) on workers, residents and visitors.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S. Free help is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and at 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) (for Spanish speakers). You also can visit cancer.org/smokeout which features tools to install on your computer, such as the Smokeout Countdown Clock that allows you to pick your quit date and provides daily tips.

Resources:
Helpguide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/addiction/how-to-quit-smoking.htm
SmokeFree NMB: https://www.facebook.com/SmokeFreeNMB
American Cancer Society's tools: http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/index

Spooky Ways to Spend Halloween in Myrtle Beach

Traveling during the holidays can be lots of fun, especially when visiting Myrtle Beach.  Halloween is quickly approaching and there are numerous activities to participate in while touring the Myrtle Beach area.  Whether looking for something to do with the family or a place to party, Myrtle Beach is the destination for endless fun throughout this creative, fun, and spooky season. You can be certain Myrtle Beach will get you in the mood for the Halloween traditions with costumes, sweets, haunted houses, and more!

If searching for family-friendly Halloween activities, you may choose from various Grand Strand attractions, such as trick or treating, or costume contests. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure opens its doors to visitors of all ages with a thrilling haunted house, high-pitched screams and scary effects. Live actors prowl behind every corner of this spooky asylum, terrorizing your every step.

Myrtle Beach Halloween - children having fun

Boardwalk fright nights on the Boardwalk make walking with zombies possible. Stop by the Nightmare Haunted House on 10th Avenue North on Ocean Boulevard and face the shivering evil laugh of a crazy clown as it haunts you up and down the dark corridors. Good luck finding your way without being followed!

Many trick or treating events and costume contests will be held at various locations throughout the Grand Strand. For example, the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk and Barefoot Landing will both be holding children’s costume contests, as well as trick or treating and other enjoyable activities.  Barefoot Landing will even include a pet costume contest!  Other fun spots include Broadway at the Beach, Market Commons, North Myrtle Beach, and both Tanger Outlets.

Myrtle Beach Halloween - Decorations

 Halloween parties may be your choice of entertainment. Captain Quarter’s Resort sponsors a family-friendly Halloween costume party and contest, with prizes awarded for various age groups from children to adults. They also have a family category for families who dress up as a group. The Children’s Museum of South Carolina offers games, candy, and activities from five different decades: 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s on Oct. 24, from 5-7 p.m. Riley's Aquarium's Boo-Quarium Bash will take place Oct. 25 from 3-8 p.m., featuring a costume parade, build-a-scarecrow workshop, and a scavenger hunt.

Riplaye's Aquarium Halloween Party

If this Halloween involves more of an adult theme, there also are plenty of exciting adult events.  Broadway at the Beach and Murrells Inlet Marshwalk are both holding adult costume contests with great prizes. Celebrations Nitelife at Broadway at the Beach will be throwing a Halloween night bash and costume party with a DJ and loads of fun.

Myrtle Beach Boardwalk Halloween

Myrtle Beach is definitely the hot spot for the Halloween season. Family-friendly fun and adult entertainment are both options all throughout The Grand Strand. So don’t miss out on the costume contests, parties, trick or treating, or just a plain fun time! Why would one search anywhere else to spend Halloween when there are so many exhilarating choices in Myrtle Beach? Just pick your haunt-- an amazing time and spooky memories will be had. Happy Halloween!

Enjoy Cultural Diversity at the Irish-Italian Festival in North Myrtle Beach this Weekend

I may not have many aunts, uncles, cousins, or other family members to be a part of my daily life, but I never miss an opportunity to join my dear Irish and Italian friends for a pint of green beer and  a lot of good cheer. Both Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans have an enormous sense of pride associated with their heritage, visible even in a small beach town like North Myrtle Beach.

There may be a nip in the air and some color in the maple trees while we say good bye to the summer, but we switch from fun to more fun after Labor Day in North Myrtle Beach. Following the tradition started 11 years ago, the City of North Myrtle Beach puts together another ambitious Irish Italian Festival. Downtown Main Street running, into Ocean Drive, will fill up once again with more than 15,000 merry people on Sept. 27. Visitors and residents will be ready to celebrate the joyful mixture of cultures with street performers, arts and crafts vendors, and dance groups.
Irish-Italian Festival - Dance
Image courtesy of Bill Burris
Two stages of live entertainment will be set up on Main Street. The Irish stage will be at a very strategic location, right in front of  Flynn's Irish Tavern; while the Italian stage will be placed near the junction of Main Street and Hillside Drive.

North Myrtle Beach is, by definition, a family-friendly beach town—so, be sure to  bring the children with you. A dedicated children's area will include  street magicians, balloon art, inflatables, and face painting.

My wife and I are anxious to taste the food from the local restaurants, including, but not limited to, the spicy grilled sausages, pasta, and pizza. Nothing bad can ever come out of a competition between restaurants , each trying hard to win the title for the best entrée, best decorated, and best dessert.

If you think you have what it takes, you may enter into Claudio’s Spaghetti Eating Contest, sponsored by Villa Romana. First to clear his or her plate (without using  hands, of course) wins bragging rights and a stylish plaque.
Irish-Italian Eating Contest
Image courtesy of The City of North Myrtle Beach - Parks and Recreation
The festival continues with much celebration around  the Irish and Italian gifts of music, food and culture. Come down to Main Street this Saturday for the North Myrtle Beach Irish-Italian Festival. Make sure to bring a lawn chair and a beach blanket with you to sit and enjoy the shows. For more details, visit the City of North Myrtle Beach website.