MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Two New Year’s Eve events in the Myrtle Beach area will go on as planned after being approved by the state, but one major event was rejected over COVID-19 precautions.

The New Year’s Eve Celebration for downtown Conway, which is organized by Conway Downtown Alive, was rejected by the South Carolina Department of Commerce because the estimated attendance would exceed the amount of land the event would be held on.

Planned as a street festival style event on Main Street, the celebration would have included bands, food vendors, merchandise vendors and fireworks at midnight. Attendance was estimated in the application to be between 1,001 and 5,000 people. 

The state wrote on the rejection notice, “Outdoor occupancy will exceed 1,212 attendees per acre. (Estimated attendance range: 1,001 – 5,000; Outdoor acreage: 0.765 acres)”. The application said there would be social distancing in place, a cleaning schedule, a sick plan, masks would be required and COVID-19 staff available.

Gov. Henry McMaster does not allow events of more than 250 people by executive order, but event hosts can apply for an exemption. The events, among other conditions, must remain under 50% capacity, adhere to social distancing, require masks and follow AccelerateSC guidelines.

An example of a local event gaining an exemption was Fall Bike Week, which was hosted at a biker bar in Murrells Inlet in September. The event was initially rejected and then approved after the owner said he cleared up some miscommunication. However, the bar, Suck Bang Blow, was eventually cited for violating the state’s executive order and was called a “super spreader event” by a state lawmaker who complained about the crowds at a concert.

The largest event approved by the state was the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in October. The event was anticipated to include 8,000 people, which was less than 20% of the site’s capacity, the state reported.

The two events in the Myrtle Beach area that were approved for New Year’s Eve are:

– A Southern Times Square in The Market Common. Attendance is estimated between 251 and 1,000 people. The celebration includes fireworks, a DJ and a ball drop. The event will be from 10 p.m. until midnight. Masks and social distancing are required. 

– NYE on the Boardwalk. Attendance is estimated between 251 and 1,000 people. The event runs from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. at Plyler Park on the Boardwalks and includes fireworks, live music, dueling DJs and activities for kids. Masks are required when in close proximity to others and social distancing is encouraged.