Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer season on the Grand Strand, and the fortnight that surrounds it is the perfect time to experience the ultimate Myrtle Beach vacation. From festivals and fireworks to parades and picnics, the weeks before and after Memorial Day make a great time to book your stay at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort in downtown Myrtle Beach. Here's a quick look at the calendar of events so you can plan accordingly:
* May 20-21: The 36th Annual World Famous Blue Crab Festival returns to the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway in Little River. Featuring live music, dancing in the streets, kids’ activities, arts and crafts vendors, and, of course, the guest of honor - the blue crab. Taste crab cakes, she-crab soup, crab claws, and all kinds of seafood, "land food" and sweet treats.
* May 24: Get ready to get wet and wild at the season opening of the Grand Strand's only combination water park and go-kart track - Wild Water & Wheels in nearby Surfside Beach. Featuring waterslides and flumes, a wave pool, kiddie splash pads, go-kart circuits, bumper boats, mini-golf and an arcade, Wild Water & Wheels opens its doors for more fun in 2017. Myrtle Waves opens for the season on May 13 and goes full-time June 3, while Splashes opens on May 27.
* May 25: Scream "fore!" and/or hit the dance floor on this special day and night to support the troops. Sponsored by the Military Officers Association of America, the Military Appreciation Days Golf Tournament will be held at The Heritage Club in Pawleys Island with a 2 p.m. shotgun start. The entry fee is $80 per player or $300 per foursome, with a $5 discount for veterans. For those who prefer dancing and dining, the Military Appreciation Days Dinner & Dance will be held at 6 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Sheraton. Hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America, this event is open to all branches and all eras of service. Tickets are $30.
* May 27: The unofficial first Saturday of summer is loaded with activities, especially for guests at Compass Cove. Just a short distance away at The Market Common, formerly known as the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, two patriotic events are on the schedule. The Military Appreciation Days Parade rolls down Farrow Parkway, with Army National Guard Specialist Alek Skarlatos serving as the grand marshal. Skarlatos was awarded the U.S. Army Soldier's Medal and the French Legion of Honour for helping stop a gunman on a Paris-bound train in 2015. The parade leads to the Family Picnic at Valor Memorial Park for patriotic music, military displays, and an all-American spread of burgers and hot dogs.
* May 29: The fun turns serious for a couple of Memorial Day events. At 9 a.m., the Veterans March moves down Ocean Boulevard to the old Pavilion site for a short gathering. At 11 a.m., the Myrtle Beach Convention Center welcomes all citizens to honor our fallen heroes at the Remembrance Ceremony, featuring keynote speakers and an honor guard display.
* June 2-3: The summer event that made Myrtle Beach famous returns for the 62nd Annual Sun Fun Festival, featuring a parade down Ocean Boulevard, live music and dancing, beach games, bikini contests, sandcastle-building, and more. Catch a fireworks show and concert at Plyler Park to conclude the two-day festival.
Whether you can visit for the entire two-week, summer-opening celebration or only have a few days to soak up all the sun and fun, Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort is the perfect place for an ideal Memorial Day weekend vacation. Book your reservations today, and get ready for a great start to summer.