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It’s not just the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees that get active in the springtime. So does the Grand Strand’s social calendar, which really gets busy in the month of March. Here are some fun festivities for the whole family this month in the Myrtle Beach area:
* March 12-14, 32nd Annual National Shag Dance Championships: Catch jaw-dropping dancers competing for national titles in this shagging showcase. Held at the Spanish Galleon in downtown North Myrtle Beach, where the 1950s dance craze "the shag" was born and still thrives today, the National Shag Dance Championships feature the finest shaggers in the country. The after-parties continue after the competition ends at surrounding shag clubs like Fat Harold's and the OD Arcade. For more information, visit www.shagnationals.com.
* March 14, 27th Annual North Myrtle Beach St. Patrick's Day Parade: More than 30,000 are expected to line the streets of North Myrtle Beach to see this procession of floats, convertibles and marching bands. After the 9 a.m. parade completes its route, the attention turns to the main stage at the corner of Main Street and Ocean Drive. Live music, food and drinks, and arts and crafts vendors are among the many options for a full day of fun. For more information, visit www.parks.nmb.us.
* March 14-15, Ocean Boulevard St. Patrick's Day Celebration: Myrtle Beach gets a jump on St. Paddy's Day with a two-day street in the downtown district. The stretch of The Strip near the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk's Promenade Park provides a perfect venue for concerts, food vendors, a huge beer garden and a kids' play area. The Delta Saints headline a full Saturday lineup of regional and national music acts, and the Battle of the Bands takes over the main stage on Sunday. For more information, visit www.downtownmyrtlebeach.com.
* March 14-22, 54th Annual Can Am Days: This weeklong event celebrates the long-running relationship between Canadian tourists and the Grand Strand. A wide range of activities are planned to welcome our neighbors to the north, including concerts, golf and good-natured games. Locals and snowbirds get the opportunity to interact in a fun setting. For a full list of events, visit www.visitmyrtlebeach.com.
* March 19-21, 27th Annual Run to the Sun Car Show: Thousands of classic cars and their collectors converge on Myrtle Beach to take a cruise down memory lane and Ocean Boulevard. This three-day event features antique hot rods and vintage vehicles that have been restored to their original condition and put on display for enthusiasts to admire. There's also an organized cruise down the strip that sees thousands line the streets to watch the make-shift parade. For more information, visit www.peedeestreetrodders.com.
* March 27-28, 68th Annual Plantation Tours: Make the 30-minute drive to Georgetown and step three centuries back in time at this historic event. Offering tours of some of the oldest and largest rice and indigo plantations in the United States, this event takes guests to another era in South Carolina history. Roam through antebellum plantation homes, slave cabins and the swamps where rice was grown and harvested. An oyster roast and pig picking will kick off the festivities on Friday. For more information, visit www.pgwinyah.com.
* March 30-April 2, Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars: The big top comes to downtown Myrtle Beach for some old-school circus fun and some new-age thrill acts. The clowns, animals and trapeze routines are still standards of the show, but Cole Bros. has added some cutting edge daredevil displays to keep it fresh for a young audience. Two shows will be held daily, a 4:30 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. nightcap. For more information, visit www.gotothecircus.com.