The 2017 baseball season is warming up in the on-deck circle, and faithful fans of the Chicago Cubs still haven't stopped celebrating their long-awaited 2016 World Series championship. Grand Strand baseball fans also have ample reason to party, since our local minor-league team, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, is coming off back-to-back Carolina League titles.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Class A-Advanced farm team of the Chicago Cubs, have an exciting summer of festivities planned to commemorate the recent trophy windfall. The summer-long celebration will take place during all 70 of the Pelicans' home games at the 5,500-seat Pelicans Ballpark, aka “The Nest,” which is located about 5 miles southwest of Long Bay Resort.
Guests can join in the festivities from April through September, as the Pelicans recently released their 2017 game and promotion schedule. In addition to all the usual thrilling baseball action and the family-friendly special events, the Pelicans will host the inaugural Cubs-A-Palooza on June 23-25 to pay tribute to the parent club's historic title run.
The three-day festival will feature appearances by former Cubs greats Andre “The Hawk” Dawson and Bill Buckner, giveaways like a talking bobblehead of former Pelican and current Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward and a replica of the World Series championship trophy, food events like the “Taste of Chicago” festival serving up tasty bratwursts, ribs and sausages, and the Cubstock (think Woodstock meets baseball) concert and fireworks show to wrap up the celebration.
Speaking of fireworks, this summer looks to be a real blast at the ol’ ballpark. The Pelicans have booked post-game pyrotechnics displays for 21 nights, allowing patrons to enjoy their evening of fun with a professional fireworks show. The Pelicans' popular promotional calendar also includes two Bark in the Park Nights (April 26 and Aug. 23), when fans can bring their four-legged friends to the game, Old School Hip Hop Night (Aug. 24), and Bring Your Own Instrument Night (Aug. 26).
In addition to the one-night promotions, the Pelicans also hold a special rotating schedule of nightly events, like the wildly popular Thirsty Thursdays with $1 draft beers from 6 to 8 p.m. Other weekly promotions include Make a Splash Mondays, Craft Beer Tuesdays, Wiener Wednesdays, Locals Appreciation Saturdays and Family Sundays. New to the weekly lineup this year is Foodie Friday, which allows patrons to upgrade their tickets to enjoy a unique dining experience at the game, such as oyster roasts, shrimp boils, pig pickinʹs and more.
Perhaps the biggest surprise the Pelicans have in store for fans is that you don’t have to be a big baseball fan to have a good time at Myrtle Beach’s ballpark. Since their inaugural 1999 season, the Pelicans have earned national awards for putting on one of the most entertaining shows in professional sports, and the franchise has produced countless players who have gone on to the big leagues since suiting up for Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans open the 2017 season on Thursday, April 13, with a wide variety of Opening Day festivities on the agenda. The team will raise the 2016 Carolina League Championship Banner on April 14, and the debut weekend concludes April 16 with a visit from the Easter Bunny and a special helicopter candy drop on the field. It’s not the only opportunity for the little ones to step out on the diamond, as Kids Run the Bases has become a popular post-game ritual for the Pelicans over the years.
Guests at the oceanfront Long Bay Resort can enjoy the game knowing that they will be safe at home after a night of family fun at the ballpark.