New Folly Beach 'Welcome' sign has many disgusted, calling it 'tacky' & too 'Myrtle Beach'

New Folly Beach Welcome Sign (Caroline Balchunas/WCIV)

A new “Welcome” sign for visitors and residents of Folly Beach is getting anything but a welcoming response from those who’ve laid eyes on it so far.

The sign, erected this week, is a dramatic departure from the understated wooden sign it’s replacing, with an electronic LED bulletin board beneath large, colorful letters proclaiming, “Welcome FOLLY BEACH.”

According to Folly Beach officials, the old wooden sign was rotting, and could not be salvaged. Thus, the beachfront town’s “Edge of America” branding slogan prominent on the old sign is not currently shown on the new sign, but town tourism officials say there are plans incorporate it.

The digital display board will be used for messages, public safety alerts and upcoming event advertising, tourism officials say.

Town officials say the artwork for the new sign was conceived by local artist and Folly homeowner, David Boatwright.

A photo of the sign posted Wednesday to the town's official tourism Facebook page, Visit Folly, received overwhelmingly negative comments.

“It’s tacky,” one person wrote. “This gaudy sign screams Myrtle Beach.”

“Let’s be honest; it’s tacky and tasteless and truly personifies the transplant culture,” another person added.

Excerpts from dozens of other comments read similarly, with others saying things such as “Fit for an amusement park” … “an insult to our island” … “AWFUL” … “promotes commercialism” … “South of the Border” … “garbage” … and “cartoonish.”

Still, others took their outrage to another level, saying “someone needs to put a tarp over it,” while another said they had their “fingers crossed for a drunk driver to plow it into the marsh.”

Many reacting to the new sign also say the public didn’t get a fair opportunity to provide more input on the design.

Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin reacted to the sudden apparent outrage, saying the sign has been on town council agendas and discussed for months.

“It wasn’t a back room decision,” Goodwin told ABC News 4’s Caroline Balchunas, adding that the sign is meant to have a “1950s postcard look.”

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