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Marsh Walk: County asked to ban fireworks shows

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Directors of Murrells Inlet 2020 approved a resolution Wednesday requesting Georgetown County adopt an ordinance restricting the discharge of fireworks from the Marsh Walk and Veterans’ Pier to the Fourth of July.

Board member Sandra Bundy proposed the resolution calling for the end of the weekly fireworks shows sponsored by seven Marsh Walk restaurant owners, including board members Charlie Campbell and Al Hitchcock.

The inlet request could become a moot point as next week’s County Council agenda contains first reading of a proposed ordinance regarding rules for the use of the county’s Marsh Walk and the new Jetty Walk beginning at Morse Landing Park.

“I am very hurt by the weekly fireworks,” Bundy said. “They are bad for the creek.”

Hitchcock cited studies that said fireworks were not among the most harmful pollutants affecting the inlet. “A couple thousand people on the Marsh Walk Monday seemed to be enjoying them,” he said.

Campbell said the fireworks shows were thought to be “brand building” for the Marsh Walk and a reward for people coming to the inlet. He said his restaurant, Dead Dog Saloon, is packed every night. “You have to scratch your head and say, ‘Is this worth it?’ In fairness thousands of people are loving it.”

Jim Wilkie, an advisory board member said a lot of people are not enjoying it.

Wilkie said fireworks were welcomed in the inlet more than a decade ago to help businesses, but times have changed. “They’ve evolved,” he said. “We’re to the point they don’t need that help. We’re not thinking about brand building. We’re thinking about the quality of life: mine and the things living in the inlet. We don’t need to develop commerce any more. Let’s think about the long run. Let’s think about the food chain. If you think fireworks are good, put that fish on your plate and eat it.”

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