MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Carolina Country Music Fest is just days away, and public safety agencies are preparing for the tens of thousands of people that will pack into downtown Myrtle Beach.
All hands are on deck for the four-day festival from both Myrtle Beach fire and police departments. They’ll be bringing in extra crews specifically for CCMF.
“Obviously it’s not our first rodeo doing this so we have some history to build off here,” Captain Jon Evans with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department said.
With close to 40,000 people expected for this years festival, officials are preparing for one of their busiest weekends of the year.
“We have officers inside and outside, we’ve got a traffic plan in place so really, we just want to really have a great time and stay safe,” Master Cpl. Tom Vest with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said.
The Myrtle Beach Fire Department will have six to seven crews out helping with EMS, along with additional help during the night.
And as for Myrtle Beach police, each police officer will be put to work.
“Every police officer that works for the city of Myrtle Beach is working this weekend,” Vest said.
He said their security plan has several layers with officers both inside and outside the gates.
“Some of whom you will see most of whom you will not,” he said. “So we do have a pretty in depth security plan that involves both uniform visible personnel and plainclothes personnel.”
Both departments respond to dozens of medical calls each day of the festival. The most common are dehydration and heat exposure.
“By the time the sun sets around eight, nine o’clock, we see people start to fall out because during the day, they haven’t been taking care of themselves as they should be,” Evans said.
CCMF has been around since 2015 so both departments are no strangers to what incidents may occur during the four day fest, that’s why each year they work to improve their services.
“We tried to adapt and overcome that and make sure that we have enough people on just in case something does happen,” Evans said.
Traffic changes for CCMF include:
Ocean Blvd from 9th N to 8th N will close Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. and stay closed until Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Ocean Blvd from 8th to 7th will close on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. to Monday morning at 8 a.m. All northbound traffic on Ocean Blvd will be turned up 7th to Kings. Sidewalks will provide access to businesses.
Every day Ocean from Mr. Joe White to 9th Ave N will close at noon and will stay closed until 12:30 a.m. on Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
All traffic will close on 9th Ave at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday and 1:00 a.m. on Friday Saturday and Sunday nights.
9th Ave Eastbound will close from Chester to Ocean on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. and all the way to Kings on Thursday.
8th Avenue will close on Thursday at 8 a.m. and stay closed until Monday at 12 p.m.
Chester Street from 10th Ave to 9th Ave will close every day at 10 a.m. and reopen at 12 a.m. on Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Chester Street from 7th to 8th will close on Thursday at 8am and reopen on Monday at noon. Local traffic will be allowed through.
York St will also close between 7th and 8th on Thursday at 7 a.m. and reopen on Monday at 12 p.m. Local traffic will be allowed through.