NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — North Myrtle Beach’s famous St. Patrick’s Day parade and festival are coming back after two years of being canceled because of COVID-19.

With the events just days away, the city and businesses are busy getting ready for the festivities.

“Our motto this year is third times a charm,” Angel Sylvester, the director of special events and programs for the city, said. “It was canceled in 2020, canceled in 2021, so we are very happy to be able to have it this year in 2022.

Sylvester said the city expects about 30,000 people to show up for Saturday’s festival and parade.

“There are people that come to our city, to our town just for this festival,” Sylvester said.

Cheryl Kilday, president and CEO of Destination North Myrtle Beach, said: “We’re expecting this to be a pretty big celebration where everyone feels like we’re back.”

The parade is set for 9 a.m. and the festival will follow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The parade route will be the same as years past, but the city said it will change direction and start on Ocean Boulevard and end at Ye Olde Kings Highway.

You can check out an interactive version of the parade route here.

Courtesy: City of NMB

“We really use it to promote the events, not just this one, but other events, and live music throughout our community and other entertainment,” Kilday said.

It’s something the city and Destination North Myrtle Beach said helps not only them but businesses.

“We’re expecting a lot more people, everyone having a good time, and it should be pretty profitable for sure,” Pat Corbitt, one of the owners at Flynn’s Irish Tavern, said.

The city is taking safety precautions by having fewer vendors and spreading booths out for social distancing.

“Even though some people are still a little concerned about big crowds and events, that ours is still, there are so many ways to spread out and not be super-crowded that I think people will come out, and I think it will be well attended,” Kilday said.

Some of the events planned include leprechaun contests at 2:30 p.m. at Flynn’s Irish Stage and a Shepard’s Pie Eating Contest at 2:45 p.m., also at Flynn’s Irish Stage.

For a full list of entertainers and to see the schedule, go to the North Myrtle Beach city website.