Labor Day Getaway at Annual Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Finger lickin' BBQ and free, family-friendly entertainment mark the end of 2011 Sun Fun Celebration of Summer

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - Plan a Labor Day weekend getaway to Myrtle Beach for the sixth annual Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival 5:30-9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 12-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, and 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Grand Park at The Market Common. The festival, now extended through Sunday, will feature finger lickin' good barbecue and food from both vendors and competitors available for purchase, along with free live entertainment featuring American Idol's Season 2 country crooner Josh Gracin.

Gracin is a U.S. Marine and was introduced to American Idol in Season 2, as he wowed judges and viewers alike with his country twang, making his transition from reality show contestant to recording star in 2004 with his self-titled debut album and first single, "I Want to Live." His second single, "Nothin' to Lose," reached the number one spot on country radio, and hits like "Stay With Me (Brass Bed)," "Unbelievable," and "We Weren't Crazy" have catapulted the singer to mainstream country stardom.

Organized by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, this family-friendly festival will also feature wake board demonstrations, free boat rides, activities for children, and a celebrity meet-and-greet with the Bravo's Top Chef: Season 4 contestant and Top Chef: All Stars winner Richard Blais.

A familiar face among foodies, Blais returned to Bravo's Emmy Award Winning Top Chef series as a member of the eighth season, Top Chef: All Stars, in December, where he captured the title of `Top Chef.' Blais has appeared on Food Network, Discovery Science and CNN and in numerous publications including The New York Times, InStyle and Food & Wine magazine, and festival attendees will have their chance to meet Blais, as well as get an autograph on Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Beach, Boogie and BBQ Festival.

But pork is the main star of this MBACC annual festival as attendees are able to sample delicious barbecue from all competing teams on Saturday, Sept. 3, beginning at 12 p.m. by purchasing a $10 wristband while supplies last. Children under 10 are able sample for free, and barbecue sandwich combos and dinners will also be available for purchase.

In addition to Saturday's barbecue fest, festival participants can buy five sampling tickets for $5 in the `Anything Goes' competition entries on Friday, Sept. 2. Beer and wine will be sold all three days.

For the first time in Beach, Boogie and BBQ history, attendees will also be able to enjoy a wide variety of wings on Sunday, Sept. 4, as the festival is extended for a third day. Look on as hungry competitors challenge one another in a wing-eating competition or as children take on a summer's favorite fruit in a watermelon-eating contest. A variety of great prizes await the winners, as well as free watermelon for all Sunday attendees at 2 p.m. while supplies last.

Three cooking events promise to attract the nation's finest competitors: the `Anything Goes' cooking contest and tasting on Friday, Sept. 2, and the Official S.C. Barbeque Championship and Kansas City Barbeque Society Cook-off on Saturday, Sept. 3. Each competition will award prize money to winners.

"We are excited about this year's lineup of activities and pleased to provide a free, family-friendly event for locals and visitors to celebrate Labor Day weekend again. The chamber values its partnership with the Omar Shriners and we are thrilled to extend the festival to Sunday with new activities this year!" said Amie Lee, MBACC director of festivals and special events.

Proceeds from all barbeque sales will go to the Omar Shrine temple.

Festival highlights will include:

Friday, Sept. 2 - (festivities from 5:30-9 p.m.)

? Food/Arts&Craft/Business Vendors, open at 5:30 p.m. - Non-BBQ food vendors will be selling a variety of eats, along with select arts/crafts vendors. Most vendors accept cash only.

? BBQ, BBQ, BBQ, 6:30 p.m. until supplies last - Omar Shriners will be selling barbecue combos and dinners. Both sides of the lake.

? `Anything Goes' Contest and Tasting, 6:30 p.m. until supplies last - Competing teams will serve sample dishes from shrimp creole to chicken bog and anything in between-anything goes! $5 for five sampling tickets. All proceeds benefit Omar Shriner charities. Football field, south side of the lake.

? Live Entertainment, 5:30-9 p.m. - Bring your dancing shoes, family, chairs and blankets (no coolers allowed). Main stage on south side of the lake. Free.
o Tru Sol, 5:30-6:45 p.m.
o The Tams, 7:30-9 p.m.

? Beer & Wine Garden, 5:30-9 p.m. Enjoy Budweiser selections and local wine from Hyman Vineyard's.

? Wake Board Demonstrations by Island Adventure Watersports, 7 p.m. - Witness thrilling stunts on Grand Park Lake. The free show last about 30 minutes each. Sponsored by Island Adventure Watersports.

? Announcement of `Anything Goes' Contest Winners: Anything Goes, Best Booth, Best Dessert and Best Sauce, around 10 p.m. - Come cheer for your favorite team as the winners are announced. Main stage, south side of the lake.

Saturday, Sept. 3 - (festivities from 12-9:30 p.m.)

? Official S.C. Barbeque Championship and Kansas City Barbeque Society Cook-off, 8-11 a.m. - Look on as the teams prepare their barbecue for judging of ribs, chicken and whole hog/butt. Football field, south side of the lake. Free.

? Food/Arts&Craft/Business Vendors, open at 12 p.m. - Non-BBQ food vendors will be selling a variety of eats. Select arts/crafts vendors will be selling jewelry, children's clothing and other unique items. Most vendors accept cash only.

? Beer & Wine Gardens, 12-9 p.m. Enjoy Budweiser selections and local wine from Hyman Vineyard's.

? Meet Richard Blais, winner of Bravo TV's `Top Chef: All-Stars', 1-4 p.m. -Free. Richard will also judge barbecue samples from all participating teams from 12-1 p.m.

? Live Entertainment, 12-9:15 p.m. - Come back for another great line-up of entertainment and dance to some of your favorite music! Bring chairs and blankets (no coolers allowed). Main stage, south side of the lake. Free.
o Platinum, 12-1:15 p.m.
o Envision, 1:45-3 p.m.
o Atlantic Groove, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
o Jim Quick and Coastline, 6-7 p.m.
o Josh Gracin, 8-9:15 p.m.

? Kids Zone, 12-5 p.m. - Games and activities for children.

? Wake Board Demonstrations by Island Adventure Watersports, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. - Witness thrilling stunts on Grand Park Lake. The free shows last about 30 minutes each. Sponsored by Island Adventure Watersports.

? Free Boat Rides on the Lake by Island Adventure Watersports, 12-6 p.m. - Enjoy a relaxing ride on Grand Park Lake. Sponsored by Island Adventure Watersports. Will be on breaks during wake board demonstrations.

? BBQ, BBQ, BBQ, 12-5 p.m. (while supplies last) - This year marks the second year attendees can sample delicious barbecue from all competing teams by purchasing a $10 wristband. Kids 10 and under can sample for free. Barbecue combos and dinners will also be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Omar Shriner charities.

? Announcement of Official S.C. Barbeque Championship and Kansas City Barbeque Society Cook-off Winners, 5 p.m. - Learn which competitor will earn the Grand Champion title and which competitors will receive prize money. Main stage, south side of the lake.

? Fireworks, 9:15 p.m. - Enjoy a fireworks finale visible from any side of the lake. Free.

Sunday, Sept. 4 - (festivities from 12-5 p.m.)

? Live Entertainment, 12-5 p.m. - Bring your dancing shoes, family, chairs and blankets (no coolers allowed). Main stage on south side of the lake. Free.
o Cortez and the Killers, 12-1:15 p.m.
o Mark Roberts & Breeze, 1:45-3 p.m.
o The Necessary Band, 3:30-5 p.m.

? BBQ, BBQ, BBQ, 12-5 p.m. (while supplies last) - Barbecue combos and dinners will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Omar Shriner charities.

? Kids Zone, 12-5 p.m. - Kids inflatables, games and activities.

? Beer & Wine Garden, 12-5 p.m. - Enjoy Budweiser selections and local wine from Hyman Vineyard's.

? "Wing-off" Cooking Competition, 12-12:30 p.m. - South side of lake.

? Wing Eating Competition. Free. 1:15-1:30 p.m. Beside main stage, south side of lake. Registration open to 16 and older. Limited to 12 competitors, onsite registration only between 12-1 p.m.

? Kid's Watermelon Eating Competition. Free. 1:30-1:45 p.m. Beside main stage, south side of lake. Three age categories. Each winner takes home a Wii Gaming Console. Onsite registration only between 12-1 p.m.

? FREE Watermelon. 2-3 p.m. Beside main stage, south side of lake. While supplies last.

? Food/Arts&Craft/Business Vendors, open at 12 p.m. - Non-barbecue food vendors will be selling a variety of food. Select arts/crafts vendors will be selling jewelry, children's clothing and other unique items. Most vendors accept cash only.

? Wake Board Demonstrations by Island Adventure Watersports, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. - Witness thrilling stunts on Grand Park Lake. The free shows last about 30 minutes each. Sponsored by Island Adventure Watersports.

? Free Boat Rides on the Lake by Island Adventure Watersports, 12-4 p.m. - Enjoy a relaxing ride on Grand Park Lake. Sponsored by Island Adventure Watersports. Will be on breaks during wake board demonstrations.

? Sun Fun Celebration of Summer Closing Ceremony, 3 p.m. - Main stage, south side of the lake. Free.

The Sun Fun Celebration of Summer begins with the Sun Fun Festival Memorial Day Weekend Celebration, continues through the Sun Fun Festival the first weekend in June, and ends with the Beach, Boogie & BBQ Festival Labor Day weekend. The free, family-friendly festivities offer an exceptional lineup of live entertainment, national acts and events.

For more festival information, visit www.grandstrandevents.com or call (843) 626-7444.

About the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce
Since 1938, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has stood as the unified voice of the Grand Strand's business community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded the MBACC its five-star accreditation, one of only several chambers in South Carolina to earn this distinction. The MBACC serves Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, Little River, Atlantic Beach, Garden City Beach, Loris, Conway, Aynor, Murrells Inlet, Litchfield Beach and Pawleys Island. For more information, visit MyrtleBeachAreaChamber.com.