Lowcountry prepares for 65th annual Beaufort Water Festival

The annual Beaufort Water Festival returns this week.
The annual Beaufort Water Festival returns this week.(Beaufort Water Festival/Facebook | Beaufort Water Festival/Facebook)
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:06 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - The annual Beaufort Water Festival is ready to kick off this week. The festival will be held over 10 days beginning this Friday.

“It was heartbreaking that the festival didn’t happen last year unfortunately because of the pandemic. The even bigger heartbreaking part is the hit that all these businesses down here took and just to the overall community,” said Erin “Tank” Morris, Commodore of the 65th Annual Beaufort Water Festival.

Businesses are excited, but for one art gallery, the increase in customers isn’t what they’re most looking forward to.

“We do get increased traffic and all. The biggest thing is we get to see old friends and all that only visit once a year. They come during water festival to see all the people they went to high school with or businesses that they’ve always gone to every year when they come down, so it does help business but it’s mainly about the relationships you’ve built over the years,” said Eric Thibault, co-owner of Thibault Art Gallery.

Commodore Morris expects bigger crowds than in years past.

“I think this is going to be a record-setting year for numbers, I think the community is ready to get back out there and get back to the new normal and let’s get back to being down here, being with our friends, enjoying each other and enjoying the wonderful beauty that Beaufort has to offer,” he said.

Because of the pandemic, Morris says the planning process was a challenge as well.

“It takes about 10 months to actually plan the festival out, however the crew has done such an amazing job because we’ve only really had about three months to put this together,” he said.

That crew is made up entirely of volunteers, including the commodore himself, who take two weeks off every year to volunteer for the festival.

For a full list of BWF events, click here.

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