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Autumn is festival season, especially Nov. 17 and 18 in festive Holden Beach.
Festival By the Sea will once again take place in the seaside town, which is celebrating the season with an array of activities. The festival was postponed from Oct. 27-28 because of Hurricane Sandy.
The annual event will kick off with the Festival By the Sea Parade at 10 a.m. Nov. 17 down the Holden Beach Causeway, from the stoplight at Walgreens to the base of the Holden Beach Bridge.
Event organizers with the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association tout parade day as the only time of the year you can take a stroll up the Holden Beach Bridge for a high-altitude view of the parade. The causeway and bridge will be closed from 9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Nov. 17 to accommodate parade festivities.
This year’s parade marshal is Simitrio Ruiz of the Discovery Channel’s hit reality TV show, “Swamp Loggers.” An autograph-and-photo session with Ruiz is scheduled after the parade.
Parade highlights this year include ROTCs from different schools, the Sudan Playboys, the Sudan Tomcats in miniature cars, the Patriot Guard Riders, fire trucks, little princesses and queens and Canine Angels, according to Cheryl Kirmse, secretary for the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association.
People are invited to decorate golf carts and ride in the parade, Kirmse said, adding registration needs to be done by Thursda via the website www.hbmerch.com.
Festival hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday with more than 125 arts and crafts and food vendors as well as a kids’ area under the high-rise bridge on the island.
Admission and parking are free.
There will also be a horseshoe tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday at Paradise Café at 102 Jordan Blvd. Registration starts at 10 a.m. For details, call Chris Politis at 842-4999.
A sand-sculpting contest is Saturday afternoon on the beach at the Jordan Boulevard access. Judging starts at 3 p.m. Contact Seth Gearhart at (910) 795-7346 for more details.
Saturday’s entertainment lineup includes The Rick Strickland Band (beach music) 10-11:45 a.m.; The Landon Parker Band (country) 12:30-2:15 p.m.; Jaded Mayberry (Southern rock) 3-5 p.m.
Sunday’s entertainment schedule is Brunswick Big Band 10-11:45 a.m. and The Carolina Breakers from 12:30-3 p.m.
As always, festival T-shirts will be available for sale, as well as earth bags this year.
There will also be a raffle for a chartered fishing excursion for four people.