MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The streets of Myrtle Beach were filled Saturday for a heartwarming event that has been a cherished tradition for decades — the South Atlantic Shrine Association’s 50th annual fall festival and parade.
The rain didn’t stop people from coming out to cheer on the members of the 20 Shriners groups that participated in the parade. Supporters from all over the Southeast filled Ocean Boulevard to watch the parade as the Shriners rode on unusual and unique floats, bikes, and cars.
The convention has been held in Myrtle Beach since 1974.
Jeff Neely and Kim Murrell of Atlanta, Georgia, said it is definitely one of the biggest parades they have.
Shriners International is an organization with about 325,000 members. It raises money for the various Shriners hospitals for children across the county.
Despite the gloomy weather, hundreds of spectators still had smiles on their faces as they cheered and watched parade members dance their way along the route.
Neely and Murrell said it’s a good time, and Murrell said you can look at the amount of fun everyone’s having here.
“It’s a shame the weather didn’t cooperate,” she said. “But, you know, we still came to support the children’s hospitals, which is what we do, and see the joy on the kids’ faces.”
One supporter’s husband, Sabrina Sutton, became a Shriner in New Bern, North Carolina, last year and has loved being a part of this community.
“We really enjoy it,” Sutton said. “This is our third parade I think I’ve been to since he joined, and we just love it. We absolutely love it.”
This convention has been going on throughout the week and has brought Shriners from the Southeast together.
“This is more just for a fun event for us to just come out and enjoy fellowship with different temples,” Jeff Neely and Kim Murrell said. “And different temples from different states.”
All of the proceeds raised during the festival go toward the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
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Gracie is a multimedia journalist at News 13 and is from Cleveland, Ohio. Gracie joined the team in June 2023 after graduating from the University of Alabama in May. Follow Gracie on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly Twitter, & read more of her work here.