Tattoo convention sets sights on Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tattooing only became legal in South Carolina back in 2006, but now one group of tattoo professionals believe Myrtle Beach is the best place to host a tattoo convention.

The event, which is scheduled for 2011's Memorial Day weekend, could bring upwards of ten thousand people to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. On Wednesday, organizers stressed the event has nothing to do with bike week or the helmet law.

"We have an all age show, its completely oriented and its going to follow all the state and city laws." said Ragen St. Peter, one of the organizers of the event.

Tattooing falls under the control of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for DHEC confirmed that the agency is working with the convention center and the tattoo group on licensing the event. According to the same spokesperson, that license will most likely not be 100 percent approved until the event is setup in May.

Some local tattoo artists and shop managers believe the event could help raise the profile of tattooing across the Grand Strand and possibly erase the stereotype associated with the art form.

"Hopefully this will educate people, get their blinders off them, it'll let them realize we're not a bunch of criminals," said tattoo artist Jake Noury.

The event will be open to the public, ticket prices are expected to be announced in the next several weeks.

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