OK everyone, say it with us – Summer is officially here!!!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We realize the “real” first day of summer isn’t until June 21, the day of the summer solstice. But, let’s be honest, for the majority of Americans, the season of barbecues, baseball and beaches kicks off with Memorial Day Weekend.

The Myrtle Beach area is no different. We’re ready to ring in the “unofficial” start of summer in style, and we’ve got plenty of activities to choose from.

Obviously, with this being Memorial Day Weekend, a number of events are taking place to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have worn the uniform in service to this country.

The city of Myrtle Beach’s Memorial Day Parade is May 24, and it runs from 27th Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North on Ocean Boulevard. This year’s grand marshal is former talk show host and military veteran Montel Williams.

Those looking to lace up their running shoes and dart toward the finish line have some options. One of our favorite races, the Dirty Myrtle Mud Run, returns to the Waterbridge in Carolina Forest on May 24 at 9 a.m. You will get wet, you will get muddy, you will trash whatever pair of socks you wear to the race. And you will have a great time.

On May 25, Brookgreen Gardens is hosting a 5K race starting at 6:30 p.m. We can’t think of anything more perfect than a great run through this beautiful park right at dusk.

Also on May 25, the town of Surfside Beach will host a Memorial Day cookout there at the Surfside Beach Pier from 4 to 8 p.m. We can practically smell the hamburgers and hotdogs from here.

The city of Myrtle Beach will host a Memorial Day ceremony at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on May 26 at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a celebration at the Grand 14 Theatre in The Market Common, where a documentary entitled “Lions in Blue & Gray: Joshua Chamberlain and Stonewall Jackson” will be shown.

Is that enough for you? If not, how about this; the weather is supposed to be fantastic this weekend. And we’ve got 60 miles of beaches to enjoy.

All we can say is, enjoy! And welcome back, summer!

Memorial Day