With a passionate background in tourism marketing and sales, Karen Riordan made her way to the Grand Strand in 2018 to become the new President and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (MBACC) and the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). “What I appreciate the most is the incredible team I work with every day, and the fantastic business community we have here!” Karen continued, “I enjoy the legislative advocacy aspect of my role and I absolutely love getting the opportunity to serve all of the amazing small businesses.”
Our local, small businesses deserve to be supported all year, but especially during the holiday season. Karen prefers to shop at local stores and goes crazy for creative arts and crafts. She explained, “Art, candles, and the many other handmade type gifts are my favorite to buy. They are all made with love and feel extra special and personal to give as gifts to my loved ones because they are all such unique presents.” She likes to wrap as soon as she selects a gift and enjoys making them personalized with gift bags and pretty tissue paper, tags, etc.
Karen and her husband get excited every year to decorate their Christmas tree with their collection of special ornaments that they have received from their parents, friends, and family members through the years. One year, their kitten climbed the tree and knocked it down, causing quite a few ornaments to fall. Luckily, not too many were broken, because pulling each ornament out and placing it on the tree is like a lovely walk down memory lane for them as a couple.
Christmas is Karen’s favorite time of year and she cherishes her quality time spent with her family who all travel to Myrtle Beach to be together. They celebrate with lots of great food, especially cookies, pies, cocoa, and many other chocolate desserts. Karen’s family always attends Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve and they have a tradition of opening one gift that night as well. Growing up in the north surrounded by snow this time of year, Karen’s family also had the tradition of going ice skating. “This year, we will just have to go ice skating at the Winter Wonderland festival right here in the heart of Myrtle Beach,” she exclaimed with enthusiasm.
Winter Wonderland at the Beach is an exciting new festival that features a magical, walk-through light experience plus a real ice-skating rink…just like Rockefeller center. This is the first time in many years that a real, outdoor ice surface has been brought to the Myrtle Beach area and it will be located at Burroughs & Chapin Pavilion Place. The light show will take you on a walking path through the park where you will be able to tour Toyland, Peppermint Valley, and several other interactive and picture-perfect light displays. This family-friendly holiday attraction was created by the MBACC and the CVB along with the City of Myrtle Beach and produced by the City of Myrtle Beach Parks, Recreation, and Sports Tourism Department. During the whole month of December, every day (except Christmas Day) until January 2nd, the downtown and boardwalk areas will be transformed into a sparkling holiday dreamland. Filled with twinkling lights and family fun, the Winter Wonderland at the Beach festivities are a must this holiday season.