Those who put Conway’s Riverfest on their calendar every year to load up their boat and head downtown for the festivities need to put one more reminder down for that day – the Conway Marina boat ramp will be closed for the event this Saturday, June 29.
The Conway Chamber of Commerce tried for years to get the City of Conway to close part of Elm Street for its RiverFest celebration, according to chamber officials, and last year’s inaugural closure seemed to go over well with the community.
“We got a lot of great feedback from having everything in one place, not spread out,” said Harley Shelley with the Conway Chamber of Commerce. “We heard no complaints about not having marina open.”
Just like last year, Elm Street will be closed from the railroad tracks all the way down to the marina parking lot, and the boat ramp will be off limits.
“With that being done, we had to not allow boats to come in and use it. It’s a safety issue, we can’t have cars in and out,” Shelley said.
The marina store will remain open, but the boat ramp will be closed.
Matt Varnadore, owner of Waccamaw Outfitters, said the marina store will be operating normally, with fuel dock still open as well.
He said that while the marina ramp closure might be inconvenient for some, he did not receive a lot of complaints about it last year. He said it was a must for safety with the new Elm Street closure.
“For safety, the ramp is closed – there was just so much pedestrian traffic, and for emergency personnel,” Varnadore said.
Varnadore praised last year’s new setup for Riverfest.
“I don’t think you could get any better in my opinion. Perfect location, great spot. We’re super excited about it,” Varnadore said.
Boaters who want to head to the festivities can use one of the close-by ramps, including Savannah Bluff, Pitch Landing or Red Bluff.
Since the city moved the other floating dock over to the marina side, and with the dock behind Bonfire Restaurant open, it will be easier than ever for folks to tie up and join the festivities.
All of the nearly 100 business expo features and vendors from the area will be located on that stretch of Elm Street selling their wares and covering the marina parking lot.
If your family plans to view the fireworks from the water, be aware that SCDNR officials want boaters to anchor in a safe spot at least 500 feet back from the fireworks site.