"Lt. Dan" wishes Beaufort a happy birthday

Published: Sep. 17, 2011 at 8:27 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 3, 2011 at 1:14 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Nothing gets a party going like good music and the Marine Corps Band did just that, as Beaufort residents celebrated the city's tricentennial birthday.

"It's the most amazing place I've ever lived. It's warm, wonderful, and beautiful, said Beaufort resident Patricia Deer.

Natalee Reese just moved to Beaufort. She said, "I'm learning about the history of Beaufort, having just moved here, and one of the first things I thought was really impressive is this town is older than the country."

That's right. The City of Beaufort is now 300 years old. Among those also helping the city celebrate this milestone was actor Gary Sinise, who portrayed Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forest Gump. Even Low Country royalty showed up for the event.

"Ray Stocks is a prince and he was nominated and voted on for the first time last year. Our queen this year is Rebecca Davenport," said Beaufort resident Anne Roberts of The Commons Neighborhood royalty.

As the floats rolled through the downtown area, those who've lived in the city for a long time recalled what thing were like years ago.

Businesswoman Alice Connelly-Moore said, "I grew up in Beaufort. I was born here. My fondest memory is the old Beaufort. Everything was so wonderful and everyone knew everybody and if you didn't they still acted like they knew you."

Lifelong Beaufort resident and former restaurant owner Harry Chakides said, "It was so fun being a child and growing up here because we had so many things to do and didn't realize how many things were just free."

Happy Birthday Beaufort!

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