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      Getting the word out about beach tent ban in North Myrtle Beach

      After North Myrtle Beach City Council approved an ordinance, beach tents will soon be banned in North Myrtle Beach.

      But what has the city done to spread the word about the new law that will ban all shading devices, except for umbrellas, from May 15 through September 15?

      During the peak summer season, the city will get around 100,000 new visitors each week.

      The goal is to educate as many people as possible before they get to the beach.

      The city has started to get the word out to these people in several ways locally and nationally, according to North Myrtle Beach Spokesman Pat Dowling.

      There now are around 150 signs on street ends and at dune walkover that have the new laws. All beach law signs have been replaced from Windy Hill to Sea Mountain Highway.

      Next week, north of Sea Mountain Highway will have their beach signs replaced, according to Dowling.

      Once lifeguard stands go up, the city will have similar signs.

      "We also put out 25,000 refrigerator magnets each year, which are distributed to our cottage rental companies, condo rental companies and hotels in the area," Dowling said.

      These magnets will have beach tent rules listed, as well.

      Additionally, the city has used a national newswire to broadcast the new law to states where our area gets the most tourists from.

      Dowling said this year will be considered transitional for the new beach tent law.

      He expects people to walk onto the beach with tents.

      For the first offense, people will be educated about the tents. A second offense will get a warning, and if you violate it for a third time, you will receive a citation that could carry a $500 fine or 30 days in jail.