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Murrells Inlet: Fireworks series will light summer sky
By Charles Swenson
The sky over Murrells Inlet will light up this summer in a series of weekly fireworks displays sponsored by area restaurants and one of their suppliers.
Marsh Walk Monday Night Lights will run for 10 weeks starting June 17, said Charlie Campbell, owner of the Dead Dog Saloon. It’s one of six creekfront restaurants that promote the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk.
“It’s something we’ve talked about for a few summers,” Campbell said.
The Marsh Walk restaurants also sponsor a Fourth of July fireworks show. The Monday night series will be in addition to that. “These shows will be somewhat more modest,” Campbell said.
The shows will be produced by Zambelli Fireworks and launched from the end of the Veterans Pier. Zambelli has created the last three Fourth of July shows over the inlet. They last about 20 minutes and cost about $24,000.
The Monday night shows will run about 10 minutes. They will cost about $3,000 each. The restaurants will pay half and Republic National Distributing Co., a wine and spirits distributor, will match that. The company will use the sponsorship to promote beverage brands, Campbell said.
The Marsh Walk restaurants believe the fireworks shows will also help promote the marshfront boardwalk, which was created through a partnership with Georgetown County. “It’s brand-building for the Marsh Walk,” Campbell said.
Along with the Dead Dog Saloon, Bovine’s, Wahoo’s Fish House, Drunken Jack’s, Capt. Dave’s Dockside, Creek Ratz and Wicked Tuna all contribute to the Marsh Walk marketing effort.
The concept is similar to the fireworks at Broadway at the Beach, a shopping and restaurant complex in Myrtle Beach. It has a show on Tuesdays.
Monday was picked for the Marsh Walk show because it is traditionally a slow night for the restaurants. “This is a way to keep a family-type crowd later on Monday than we would normally,” Campbell explained.
The fireworks are part of an evolving marketing campaign for the Marsh Walk.
“The whole Marsh Walk campaign that we started 10 years ago had one goal: drive people to the Marsh Walk as a destination,” Campbell said.
Although the restaurants expect to benefit, he said making the creekfront a destination should also benefit other area businesses.
“Brand recognition of the Marsh Walk today versus 2002 when the Dead Dog opened is up a hundred-fold. People now view us as a destination point,” Campbell said.
As a result, watersports ventures are opening as secondary businesses at some of the restaurants. That means visitors have more incentive to spend the day at Murrells Inlet, Campbell said.
Monday Night Lights will give some of them a reason to stay a little longer. The shows will start at 10 p.m.