MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Dragon Boat Festival returned to The Market Common area on Saturday.

The annual event in its 14th year served as a fundraiser for the non-profit group Ground Zero Ministries.

It was the first year the festival has been held in person since 2019, and those who participated in the race were excited to have it return.

“We missed it for two years,” rower Cheryl Savage said. “It’s always a blast.”

Teams from nearly 50 organizations signed up to compete, including the ‘WBTW StormTrackers.’

People were able to donate money to the teams they wanted to win with all of the proceeds going to Ground Zero. The event featured local vendors and family-friendly activities like free kayaking and inflatable slides.

“It’s a long day but it’s worth it,” Robert Vance, the husband of one of the racers. “It’s fun, it’s fun.”

The festival is an opportunity to unite the community and raise money for a group that focuses on healing the youth.

“Well, it definitely tells you what the community cares about,” Vance said. “A lot of them may not know what it’s about, but most of them do. It’s great to see this large crowd come out and support Ground Zero, which takes care of a lot of the youth here in town.”

The festival got the attention of one of Myrtle Beach’s newest businesses — The Hang Out.

“This looks really fun,” Evan Bosworth from The Hang Out said.

Isaiah Marr, also from the Hang Out, agreed.

“We’re already hooked,” he said. “We’re going to be here next year.”

The WBTW StormTrackers did not make it to the finals.