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Beaufort businesses booming during Water Festival

Published: Jul. 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2012 at 11:44 AM EDT
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BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - The Beaufort Water Festival attracts thousands of people to downtown Beaufort and that means good news for many local businesses.

Not only are people attending the festival, they're visiting local restaurants and shops.

"Water Festival is one of the best times in the whole year," said Beverly Stavac, Luther's. "You have a lot of people coming down and a lot of fun."

"Just the activity on the street is huge," said LaNelle Fabian, Main Street Beaufort. "We love when people come downtown and of course the festival. The Water Festival is a great way to get people downtown."

All of the foot traffic is really paying off at Barefoot Bubba's, where business is booming.

"It has given us a huge boost. I would say our business has at least doubled," said
Tricia Fripp, Barefoot Bubba's.

Downtown merchants aren't the only ones prospering this week, the festival is also a huge boost for Big D's Royal Tees, where they're making all of the t-shirts for the Festival.

"It's absolutely a huge deal for us," said Brad Drawdy, Big D's Royal Tees owner. "We've wanted to do this since day one when we opened."

Drawdy and Big D's Royal Tees co-owner Christy Painter, along with their staff, have been hard at work at their shop in Okatie, making thousands of festival t-shirts in all colors and sizes.

"It's warm, it gets 125, 130 degrees back there but it's all worth it in the long run," said Drawdy. "We probably do 11,000 t-shirts total. It's a lot of shirts and a lot of work."

But after doing this for three years in a row, they've got it down to a science.  

"Absolutely, it has to be, has to be perfect," said Drawdy.

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