A ‘Drag Race’ star comes to Myrtle Beach this fall. Plus, a guide to Pride this year

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

I’m not going to beat around the bush: The illustrious Bob the Drag Queen, winner of the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is coming to the Grand Strand this October for the weekend of the Myrtle Beach Pride festival.

The new nonprofit Pride Myrtle Beach is bringing back Pride in the Park this October for the first time in two years. The festival, which started out as a single day, has now been expanded to a full weekend with a series of events around the Grand Strand.

Pride Myrtle Beach’s executive director Craig McGee said he’s already seen huge interest in the festival. Myrtle Beach has often struggled in the last several decades to consistently have a large-scale Pride celebration, or any Pride celebration at all. This year, however, McGee saw dozens of applications for the nonprofit’s board of directors and tons of sponsors reaching out wanting to be a part of the event.

“I’m excited. I intended to do this last year, but we just kind of put everything on hold because of the the virus,” McGee said. Now that Pride events are returning around the state, he said, “I think we need that sense of community and being together.”

Grand Strand PRIDE held a festival at Valor Park in The Market Common on Saturday. The LGBTQ community around the nation are celebrating in June, the 50th Anniversary of the modern gay rights movement.
Grand Strand PRIDE held a festival at Valor Park in The Market Common on Saturday. The LGBTQ community around the nation are celebrating in June, the 50th Anniversary of the modern gay rights movement.

McGee said the event will be a great way for locals, like DJs, Drag Queens, queer service workers and small businesses, to get a leg up as the region continues to recover from the pandemic. Much of the queer community in Myrtle Beach works in the service industry and was hit particularly hard by coronavirus shutdowns and reduced business in the months afterward.

“This year will be a good opportunity for people to get back into their craft and start performing again,” he said.

While Myrtle Beach’s big Pride celebration isn’t until October, local Pride organizations wanted to do something in June to celebrate the “official” Pride Month and now has several events, including two parties at Pulse and a picnic, scheduled for the last week of June.

“When we originally planned for this event in October, we were not quite out of the woods yet with the virus. We didn’t know how things were going to be in June,” McGee said. Now that conditions have improved with broad access to vaccines, “We did want to have something in June so that people could come out and just celebrate as Pride Month.”

Grand Strand Pride is also hosting a concert in Chapin Park in downtown Myrtle Beach on June 17.

Late last month, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune signed a proclamation declaring June 2021 as Pride month in Myrtle Beach. McGee, who serves on the city’s Human Rights Commission, said the proclamation has to be renewed every year. It has been signed in the past in relation to specific Pride events, but this was the first standalone recognition for it, city spokesman Mark Kruea said.

“It’s important for us to show that we are inclusive and that our community is broad,” Bethune said. She also noted how all of the Pride events in Myrtle Beach are welcome to anyone, not just the LGBTQ+ community, which she said is valuable “for our community to be able to get out and support all of them.”

Grand Strand PRIDE held a festival at Valor Park in The Market Common on Saturday. The LGBTQ community around the nation are celebrating in June, the 50th Anniversary of the modern gay rights movement.
Grand Strand PRIDE held a festival at Valor Park in The Market Common on Saturday. The LGBTQ community around the nation are celebrating in June, the 50th Anniversary of the modern gay rights movement.

In that vein, McGee said he is working this year to make the Pride in the Park festival more broadly family friendly, like adding a bounce house for children, after seeing so many families at the 2019 event.

If the event continues to grow, McGee hopes he can bring a Pride march back to Myrtle Beach for the first time in decades.

“We want to be a service to the community, to everyone in the community, not just the people who come to events or people who sponsor,” he said. “We want to be a resource for the community and a service for the community.”

Here’s a list of upcoming LGBTQ+ events in Myrtle Beach this summer and fall.

Grand Strand Pride (Free): A concert celebrating the Myrtle Beach City Council designating June 2021 as PRIDE Month, featuring DJ Stephen Craig.

Chapin Park, Downtown Myrtle Beach

June 17, 6-9 p.m.

Latin Pride (Free): Featured artist: DJ Charly

Pulse Ultra Club: 2701 S. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

June 25, 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Pride Party at Pulse Ultra Club (Free)

Pulse Ultra Club: 2701 S. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach

June 26, 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Pride Month Celebration Picnic ($10): Fundraiser for October Pride Weekend festival, featuring BBQ and Fried Chicken and with live entertainment from Drag Queen Breonna Tenae.

Tidal Creek Brewhouse: 3421 Knoles Street, Myrtle Beach

June 27, 3-7 p.m.

Pride Myrtle Beach also meets at Tidal Creek Brewhouse the third Monday of every month for drinks, food and to plan the fall’s Pride in the Park festival.

Pride Weekend 2021

Various locations in the Grand Strand

October 1-2

An evening with Bob the Drag Queen ($35-55)

Theatre of the Republic: 337 North Main St., Conway

Oct. 1, 7 p.m.

This list is in no way exhaustive. Did we miss something? Email ckaracostas@thesunnews.com.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting