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      Sun Fun Festival cancelled for 2012

      The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced Friday they will be suspending certain area events that are not "self-sustaining," including the Sun Fun Festival at The Market Common.

      Last year marked 60 years for the festival often referred to as the unofficial start of summer.

      Below is the statement released by Richard Singleton, chairmen of the board of directors for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber:

      "The MBACC board of directors has made the decision to suspend certain events this year that are not self-sustaining. With the interests of both the membership and organization in mind, the board of directors has decided that general events held in-market in 2012 that are not self-sustained by sponsorships, ticket sales or event-specific revenue, should be suspended so our out-of-market advertising investment can be maximized and we can invest in real estate promotion. Additionally, the MBACC board of directors has collectively decided to support the evolution of some other events, including the Sun Fun Festival, that in their current form do not maintain the goals of the board or the best interests of our membership.

      In 2010, the MBACC board of directors made it a priority to increase the number of events held in-market over the following two years. We carefully observed what worked, what didn't and what could be improved upon, and after reviewing the results of both existing and added events, some events are continuing, some events are evolving and others are being suspended. Specifically regarding the Sun Fun Festival, the 2012 festival has been suspended but plans to privatize and improve the event to potentially bring it back for 2013 are currently in the works.

      While the MBACC staff ensured the success of all events in previous years, accomplishing the goals set by the board of directors, we cannot justify the cost to host or produce these events without complete self-sustainability. Should there be a time in the future when these events could demonstrate self-sustainability, we would be more than happy to revisit our decision.''

      Singleton also said the canceling this year's Sun Fun festival was talked about for about three months. He hopes they'll be able to "bring it back and make it more exciting." The Beach Music Festival won't be returning in 2012.

      City of Myrtle Beach Spokesman Mark Kruea also weighed in on the decision, "There's definitely a lot of sentimental attachment to Sun Fun. It was sort of the original festival, but today look around we have lots of festivals going on that have replaced what Sun Fun had originally intended to do is to bring some activity to the beach."

      He continued, "Things change, festivals change, events change. When Sun Fun started out, you had to pay a quarter if you weren't wearing shorts and we played human chess with beauty queens so Sun Fun has changed a lot through the years too."