Art in the Park Headlines April Arts Celebration at The Market Common

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From family beach getaways to annual Grand Strand golf trips, the rites of spring are in full bloom in Myrtle Beach. And one of the area’s most popular spring rituals is a monthlong celebration of arts and crafts at The Market Common.

Located just over 2 miles from Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort, The Market Common turns the month of April into one big arts and crafts show with a variety of events. The longest-running spring ritual takes place April 22-23 with the 45th Annual Art in the Park Festival. Hosted by the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild, this two-day event attracts artists and craftsmen from all over the East Coast, as well as hundreds of patrons shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces for their personal collections.

Vendor tents line the sidewalks at Valor Park and display their works and wares, including folk art, paintings, jewelry, wood carvings, pottery, glasswork, photography and all types of creative media. Visitors can explore the grounds and pick up a souvenir they won't find at a retail outlet to take back home as a reminder of their beach vacation. Patrons can also enjoy food, drinks and live music on the main stage at Valor Park, as well as all the shops and restaurants at The Market Common.

Unlike some high-brow arts festivals, Art in the Park is a more laid-back gathering in a family-friendly environment where parents can feel comfortable bringing the little ones along for the day. Take them to the nearby Grand Park for a romp on the playground or a stroll along the lakefront, and enjoy a picnic lunch in the park for a break from shopping. A similar experience can be found at the companion Art in the Park event at Chapin Park in downtown Myrtle Beach April 15-16.

Art in the Park isn’t the only arts and crafts festival set for the month of April at The Market Common. The shopping/entertainment complex is also home to the 14th Annual Seacoast Artists Guild & Gallery Member Show and Sale April 3-18 and the Fourth Annual Art in Common festival April 29-30. Hosted by the Seacoast Artists Guild, which supports the local arts scene, both events feature the works of members, including an awards show, sidewalk sale and other special festivities to raise funds for the local arts community.

Guests at Compass Cove don't have to be into arts and crafts to enjoy the month of April at The Market Common. In between all the arts festivals and shopping opportunities, there are also a wide variety of activities for visitors of all tastes, including everything from film festivals to fun runs. Here's a look at the lineup:

* April 7-8, YesYouCAN Film Festival: See the world from the unique perspective of people living with autism during this celebration at the Grand 14 Cinema. Aspiring filmmakers tell the inspiring stories of those who overcome huge obstacles.

* April 8, Walk MS: Join hundreds of participants to raise funds and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Offering 1- and 3-mile courses, the race ends with live music, fun and games in Grand Park.

* April 19-22, Myrtle Beach International Film Festival: Now in its 12th year, this annual event was recently named to MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 Film Festivals list and continues to attract talented filmmakers to the Grand Strand.

* April 22, Relay For Life: Hit the road with hundreds of fellow runners for a day of exercise and fun at Grand Park. The race day concludes with food, music, entertainment and a special visit from superheroes for the kids.

* April 29, Dragon Boat Festival: Relax on the banks of the lake at Grand Park and cheer on the dozens of colorfully decorated dragon boats. Watch teams battle with the paddle in glorified canoes to raise funds and awareness for Ground Zero.

So book your vacation at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort now – and get ready for a very artsy and entertaining April!