2 Myrtle Beach festivals returning but smaller

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - It appears two popular Myrtle Beach festivals will still be staged, although funding cuts may mean they are smaller.

The Oceanfront Merchants Association in Myrtle Beach warned last week that cuts would end Oktoberfest and the St. Patrick's Day festival downtown.

But association president Chris Walker tells the Sun News of Myrtle Beach ( ) that he expects the festivals to return. Walker says they will likely be scaled back and use local bands instead of national performers.

Earlier the city's Downtown Redevelopment Association voted to cut about one third of the $260,000 it gives to the association. The redevelopment group says it needs the money to help redevelop Ocean Boulevard south of the old Pavilion.

Myrtle Beach is the center of South Carolina's $18 billion tourism industry.

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