MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — More than 500 people came out to Grand Park in The Market Common for Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society’s annual Buddy Walk and Festival.

There were plenty of fun activities, as well as an awards ceremony that was followed by the buddy walk.

Erin Perry, a board member of Grand Strand Down Syndrome Society, said it’s a national festival and that they realized about 12 years ago that the community could benefit from an event like this.

Perry said it started with about 20 people and has grown every year since.

“Seeing this many people come out to our event makes us feel amazing,” she said. “We have so much community support.”

Along with the attendees, there were nearly 15 vendors, all uniting for a common cause.

“October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and that’s why we had this event in October,” Perry said. “It’s to have acceptance and spread joy.”

Anyone who was unable to attend the event but would like to show support can click here.

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adriana on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram and read more of her work here