Moonlight Mixers suspended during Folly Beach Pier repairs

Moonlight Mixers suspended during Folly Beach Pier repairs
Published: Mar. 20, 2014 at 9:37 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2014 at 9:51 PM EDT
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Maintenance is underway on the busy Folly Beach Fishing Pier and to make way for construction, one popular summer concert series is getting the boot.

The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission says it needs to bring some life back into the nearly 20-year-old structure.

"It's one of the great landmarks of Charleston," said Charlie Vance, assistant manager of the pier.

Vance says they've already replaced 1,000 boards on the deck. Hundreds of pieces of hardware are being switched out as well, including bolts and screws throughout the structure. Vance says much more work needs to be done, and it's going to be a process.

Several pilings near the end of the pier need to be replaced, and crews and currently installing new benches down the pier for visitors to use.

While the project is underway, one popular attraction is being forced out. The Moonlight Mixers have been suspended.

"They're a fun event," said Jay Valachovic, resident who has attended the mixers.

Vance says over 500 people would pack the diamond head on the pier for each Moonlight Mixer, which was always an evening full of dancing and fun.

"It was part of Folly Beach," said Valachovic. "It's disappointing that they're not going to be able to have them here this year."

The repairs will force parts of 1,045 foot-long pier, including the diamond head, to be sectioned off and occupied by construction tools. Vance says they just can't safely juggle both the concerts and the construction.

In the meantime, the county is asking the public for patience. The goal is to have the project complete by the fall.

"People will be pleased once we get everything back up to speed, we'll have the mixers back out and everything will be back to normal," said Vance.

Several businesses around the pier and tell Live 5 while the Moonlight Mixers do bring in some business, they don't expect their absence this summer to do much of a dent to revenue.

For those who enjoy the Moonlight Mixers, the county is encouraging them to keep on dancing ...or "shaggin" on the cooper - its a similar event that takes place at mount pleasant pier.

During renovations, the main walkway of the fishing pier will remain open for public use, like walking and fishing.

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