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Murrells Inlet: Fireworks display will return in summer

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

They’re baaaack.

Monday night fireworks will return to Murrells Inlet beginning June 16. Creekside restaurants promoting the Murrells Inlet Marsh Walk have agreed to sponsor the weekly summer fireworks shows for a second year.

The shows will be produced by Zambelli Fireworks and launched from a barge in the creek. Zambelli presented last year’s Monday shows from the Veterans Pier and has created the last four Fourth of July shows over the inlet.

Monday Night Lights proved popular with visitors last summer, according to Al Hitchcock, co-owner of Drunken Jack’s restaurant. He said the fireworks shows drew about 1,000 people to the Marsh Walk on a traditionally slow night. The show sponsors caught flack from neighbors over the noise and from environmentalists over debris falling into the water. To pacify neighbors, the fireworks were moved up an hour, to 9 p.m. Opinions vary on the amount of harm caused to the inlet by the fireworks debris, but directors of Murrells Inlet 2020 were not in favor of the shows coming back this summer when they were asked for a show of hands at their last meeting. Chairman Sean Bond said he would attend the next Marsh Walk meeting to try and get more information about what’s being planned.

“You are not going to make everybody happy,” Hitchcock said. “We are shooting for the majority. People come to watch, even on a Monday. We counted over 1,000 each night who enjoyed it.”

The fireworks are part of an evolving marketing campaign for the Marsh Walk. Charlie Campbell, owner of the Dead Dog Saloon, said the restaurants have spent a decade promoting the Marsh Walk as a destination.

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.

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.

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