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Jimmy Buffett sang a song called "Christmas in the Caribbean" about spending the holidays on the high seas, but we're singing a different tune, "Christmas at the Caribbean," as in Caribbean Resort & Villas in downtown Myrtle Beach. This oceanfront oasis is your home for the holidays and all the great things the Grand Strand has to offer for Christmas. Here is a list of some of our favorite festivals, events and shows you don’t want to miss during your Myrtle Beach getaway for the holidays:
Nov. 2-Dec. 31, Christmas Shows: Get ready for the highlight performances of the year as the annual Christmas shows take the stages of local theaters. On Nov. 2, several holiday shows open on the Grand Strand, including the Alabama Theatre's "The South's Grandest Christmas," The Carolina Opry's "Christmas Show of the South," and the Palace Theatre's "Christmas Wonderland." The family friendly shows are sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit.
Nov. 7-Dec. 31, Festival of Trees: There's something fishy this holiday season at Ripley's Aquarium, like the appearance of trees. The Festival of Trees runs through Christmas and features 50 trees decorated to represent each state in the union. Oh yeah, there are lots of sharks looking for a holiday feast, too.
Nov. 12-14, Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals: Featuring a 19th century English village and market complete with costumed vendors and holiday themed wares, the Myrtle Beach Convention Center becomes a winter wonderland based on Charles Dickens' classic novel "A Christmas Story." This traditional holiday event features antique and handmade gifts, arts and crafts, holiday decorations and more. Exhibits highlight the history of Christmas pasts and other holiday novelties, and several off-site events are at local theaters, restaurants and attractions throughout the season.
Nov. 26-28, 46th Annual South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival: Traditional Americana music takes the stage at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center over Thanksgiving weekend for this four-day event. Featuring some of the biggest names in bluegrass, acoustic and gospel music performing at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, this festival attracts large crowds to see such artists as Daly & Vincent, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and many others.
Nov. 28, Intracoastal Christmas Regatta: You’ve seen plenty of Christmas parades on dry land, but this is your chance to catch one on the water. Vessels ranging from small john boats to luxury yachts decorate their ships and line up to light up the Intracoastal Waterway with Christmas cheer. The parade sails out at 5 p.m. and slowly flows downstream from Little River Inlet to Dock Holiday's, arriving at approximately 7 p.m. for a dockside party.
Dec. 3-19, Nights of a Thousand Candles: Brookgreen Gardens is home to the holiday event of the year on the Grand Strand as Christmas lights and holiday spirit overtake this botanical sculpture garden at night. For nine evenings only, guests can stroll through the scenic sculptures and plant life and enjoy the 5,500 lights, holiday decorations, Christmas caroling and other performances.
Dec. 5-23, Breakfast with Santa: The most important meal of the day is especially critical to Santa, who has to fuel up before traveling around the world with only cookies and milk to snack on. Santa is carbo-loading in Myrtle Beach before he flies the friendly skies, and you can join him at any of these "Breakfast With Santa" events: Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach, the North Myrtle Beach Community Center on Dec. 12 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Market Common on Dec. 5, 12 and 19 (9 a.m. to 10 a.m.), Surfside Beach at the Golden Egg on Dec. 19 (9 to 10:30 a.m.), and the Childrens Museum of South Carolina on Dec. 23.
Dec. 5, Broadway at the Beach Tree Lighting: The most popular place in Myrtle Beach for entertainment, dining and shopping also becomes the hot spot for Christmas celebrations Sunday at sunset. Live musical performances and an appearance from the jolly ol' elf himself highlight this holiday event.
Dec. 13, 12th Annual Christmas Towne: The Myrtle Beach Convention Center is the site for a true Christmas celebration with all the trimmings. Free photos with Santa, kids play section, and the city of Myrtle Beach's official tree lighting ceremony, are among the festivities scheduled for this free event.
Dec. 26-31, Beach Ball Classic: For the 35th consecutive year, the biggest high school basketball tournament in the nation comes to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for six days of fantastic hoops action. The Beach Ball Classic attracts some of the top teams and talent to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center for a showcase so basketball fans can see the future stars of college basketball and the NBA.
So spend this Christmas season at the Caribbean Resort & Villas and experience the holidays in true Myrtle Beach fashion. With all the shows, events and festivals on the Grand Strand, it might even become your family’s new Christmas tradition.