For one day only, experience the vibrancy that Irish and Italian cultures bring to the North Myrtle Beach coast. The city of North Myrtle Beach will be hosting its 19th Annual Irish Italian International Festival on Main Street on Saturday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

First held in 2003, the festival is meant to bring people of different cultures together over Irish-American and Italian-American food and entertainment. Over the years, the festival has expanded to include a variety of additional cuisines and cultures. The event draws about 15,000 people per year with its many arts and crafts vendors, festival-favorite food, kid-friendly activities, and two stages for live music performances.

Whether you are celebrating your own heritage or expanding your cultural horizons, there is plenty to do at this one-day cultural extravaganza.

Multicultural Music

Strolling down Main Street, let your ears be transported to the rolling green fields of Ireland or the cobblestone walkways of Rome. Across two stages, local artists get in touch with their Irish or Italian heritage by performing culturally inspired music and all-American favorites.

On the Irish Stage, musicians bring out the bagpipes for some traditional tunes. Enjoy performances by Brendon O’Connor, the Coastal Carolina Shields, Pipes and Drums, the Byrne Brothers, and 1916. 

On the Italian Stage, have an evening in Roma while musicians perform classic Italian songs their way. Enjoy performances by Mariah Faith, Accordionist Gene Kirschbaum, Chocolate Chip & Co., and Julio and the Saltines.

Live entertainment on both stages lasts all day, from 10 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Delicious Competition

Vendors and festival-goers alike can experience some delicious competition this year. 

Food vendors will be competing behind the scenes for the title of Best Entree, Best Decorated, or Best Dessert.

Center stage on the Italian side, festival-goers can compete in the annual spaghetti eating competition sponsored by Ledo Pizza. Be the first to clear your plate of spaghetti without using your hands to win a shiny new plaque and bragging rights. Enter for free and be by the Hillside Drive Stage by 1 p.m. for your chance to win! The contest begins at 1:30 p.m. sharp, so be sure to arrive at the Italian stage to witness the pasta palooza.

The Need-To-Know

Since about 15,000 people flock to Main Street throughout the day,  here are some of the best public parking options:

  • Lot beside Convenience Store & More at 250 Main Street, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
  • North Myrtle Beach Family Practice (Dr. Ramsbottom’s office) at 86 Cedar Avenue, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
  • McLean Park at 93 Oak Drive, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582

Although the festival only lasts for one day, rain or shine, the fun doesn’t have to end there. North Myrtle Beach has a rich culture to explore and plenty to do for the whole family. Stay while in some of our luxury beachfront accommodations, and we have an essentials packing list to get you started on your stay.