Boaters who want to participate in this year’s Murrells Inlet Boat Parade can do so for free this year, according to the organizer, Lee Hewitt.
“Boat entry fees are waived for 2021 to encourage more participants,” Hewitt said, noting that since they aren’t officially registering the boats, he isn’t sure how many plan to participate.
The 38th Annual Murrells Inlet Boat Parade will take place on Sunday, July 4 at 3 p.m., and the event will leave from the point and arrive at the Marshwalk by 3:30 p.m.
“It takes an hour to do the whole parade,” Hewitt said.
Awards will not be distributed this year among the boat participants, he said.
Anyone wanting to decorate a boat and participate needs to be in line at the point by 3 p.m. that day ready to celebrate this year’s theme, which is Stars, Stripes, and Fireworks.
People can view the boat parade from the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk all the way down past the Hot Fish Club, he said. This includes Belin United Methodist Church and Morse Park Landing.
“There are thousands that line the water every year … it’s amazing how many come out for it,” Hewitt said.
Hewitt is looking forward to the event, after last year’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In past boat parades, sometimes up to 150 boats lined up for the fun.
T-shirts will be available for $10 each, which will benefit the Belin United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop 396. They can be purchased from Garden City Realty, Twisters Ice Cream, Lee’s Inlet Apothecary, and Conway National Bank Murrells Inlet.
Hewitt asks that people decorating should take care not to throw anything from the land or from the boats that will harm the environment.
“Boat and dock decorating participants are asked to avoid incorporating elements into their design that involve throwing objects into the water, including water balloons, which will pollute the environment and are harmful to the local wildlife,” Hewitt noted in his release about the parade.
He wants everyone to simply focus on the celebration.
“Wave your flag and play your music. Have a great day, celebrate America, and celebrate us being out from COVID,” Hewitt said.