CCMF kickoff

Fans gather in the 9th Avenue North Thursday in Myrtle Beach for the first night of this year's Carolina Country Music Fest. The four-day event continues Saturday with acts like Mitchell Tenpenny and Florida Georgia Line set to perform.

Tracy Gunther crouched beneath a semi-trailer looking to avoid raindrops Friday night in Myrtle Beach.

The weather, however, didn’t appear to dampen the party for her and many other fans who flocked to the former Pavilion site for the second night of this year's Carolina Country Music Fest.

While he isn’t an avid country fan, Mike Revis admits the genre has grown on him.

“Honestly, I don’t like country music, but she does,” the now three-year veteran of CCMF said while pointing to his girlfriend Maisie Rash. “Also, I like a big party and that’s what this is.”

Others like Katy Galloway are diehards.

In town with friends for her fifth CCMF, she was ecstatic about her chance to see Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley.

The Greenville resident enjoys meeting other fans, including those from other states.

She took a break from the action to post photos on social media, hoping to have her picture on the jumbotron.

Friday was “U.S. of A. Day” at the festival, meaning those with their patriotism on full display could win different things for their efforts.

As such, she and Revis of Spartanburg were dressed for the occasion.

Galloway “went all out” wearing an American-themed blouse along with matching earrings, socks and a bandana.

“I’m just USA girl,” she said.

Sporting a tie featuring Captain America and a top hat complete with a flag, pinwheel and Uncle Sam bobblehead, Revis said he enjoys how CCMF is “nonstop” and has multiple stages.

“If you don’t like one guy, you walk over and you see another guy,” he said. “If you don't like that guy, you walk over and get you a drink and come back.”

Officers kept watch at different spots as pedestrians moseyed the area while navigating the former Pavilion amusement park site. 

But not everyone roaming the boardwalk came to the area for the four-day music festival.

Tourists like Kevin Michael and Amber Goff could hear the tunes as they shopped near the festival grounds.

The couple watched the cowboy boot-clad fans from a gondola on the SkyWheel.

Michael, who lives in Powder Springs, Georgia, said he likes the “great vibes” the festival brings to the city.

“You hear the music from blocks and blocks away,” he said.

International students like Ally Barry were amused by some of the fans’ attire, particularly the men in short shorts. In Myrtle Beach for the first time, the Irish woman admired their confidence.

“We wouldn't see that in Ireland,” she laughed.

Some fans like Revis and Rash plan their vacations around CCMF.

“I love Ripley’s, the arcades, going down to the boardwalk,” Revis said. “I love paying too much for beer. It’s OK. I dig it.”

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I'm a reporter for the Myrtle Beach Herald. Want something covered? Call me at 843-488-7258.

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