Carolina Beach, NC (WWAY)– The 29th Carolina Beach Musical Festival saw more people than ever before this year.
The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce said they normally open the gates at 10:00 a.m., but they had their first guest show up at 6:45 a.m. Saturday, so they decided to start a little earlier at 9:15.
“This festival right here is very special to Carolina Beach,” Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mike Worley said. “Very special.”
Worley says they had anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 people at this year’s festival.
Wanda Cranfill and her husband say you would not believe it if you did not see it.
“Amazing. We’ve been sending video to our kids back at home, because we weren’t expecting this,” she said.
Worley thinks the larger crowd could be because of recent changes made to the event. There is easier access. People can bring in their own coolers with their own food and drinks. He says they’ve also seen a difference in the crowd itself.
“Probably one of the biggest differences is the age of the people,” Worley said. “I mean seriously, this has become an event where it used to be the older crowd that came. Now we’re inundated with the crowd, who basically appreciates this style of music, as well as coming to one of the biggest parties on the beach.”
This big party also saw a lot of shagging.
“We claim that we’re the birth place of the shag,” Worley said.
Keith Thompson says you can see the crowd enjoying this version all over the beach.
“It’s just something fun,” he said. “I enjoy the people, I enjoy the dance. Just as you can see, all these people are out here for beach music and shagging.”
We’re still not sure exactly where shagging originated, but the Carolina Beach Music Festival itself is the longest running festival that’s actually held on the beach.