MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — An event aimed at welcoming Canadian tourists to Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand is returning after begin canceled for two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year marks the 61st annual CanAm Days hosted by the city of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We thought it was really important that we bring the celebration back, to say thank you to the Canadians that are here,” Karen Riordan, the chamber’s president and CEO, said.

CanAm Days runs from March 14-20 with Canadian visitors getting discounts at local stores and restaurants. Visitors from Canada make up 3% of the visiting population, Riordan said.

“They’re a very very important market for us, and again, there has always just been a special bond between our two countries and between this particular area and Canadians,” she said.

Donald Harris, a visitor from Montreal said, “I love Myrtle Beach. I love to golf, I love the beach, and I love the people. The people are so nice and friendly.”

Riordan said those are some of the characteristics Myrtle Beach is known for.

“I think that’s part of our DNA here in Myrtle Beach anyway, just to be very open and welcoming and to be very hospitable to people,” she said.

Having regular visitors from Canada boosts the Grand Strand’s economy, too.

“[It’s] certainly a boost to our local economy,” Riordan said. “They’re out and about. Many of them again are doing rentals or staying in our hotels. They’re eating out, they’re visiting attractions, they’re shopping.”

Following are some of the events scheduled during CanAm Days:

  • March 14 – welcome reception, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • March 15 – Can-Am Party on the Plaza, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • March 17-19 – 33rd annual Run to the Sun Car and Truck Show
  • March 18-20 – Myrtle Beach Pelicans season kick-off Fireworks Extravaganza, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, Vintage Market Days of Coastal Carolina and Cheer Ltd. Nationals at Can-Am.