By MINDY LUCAS
The 64th Annual Beaufort Water Festival kicks off Friday with all the pomp and circumstance of one of the state’s oldest and most venerable festivals.
Completely organized and run by an all-volunteer staff, the Water Festival features 10 days of music, art and family-fun activities.
From the hilarious and must-see-to-believe hospital bed races, to one of the most spectacular fireworks shows in the region, the festival serves up a variety of Americana event goers aren’t likely to find anywhere else.
Commodore Brian Patrick said he and organizers are particularly proud of this year’s theme, “For the Community, By the Community.”
“We really wanted to highlight the fact that the festival is for the community, and everyone who puts it on are truly your neighbors, local law enforcement, military, our sponsors, all volunteers – everyone is from this community, and of course the people we put it on for,” Patrick said.
And while Patrick said they obviously don’t have any control of the weather, they hoped to avoid a repeat of last year, when heavy rainfall caused organizers to cancel some performances and postpone the opening night’s fireworks show for several days.
With that in mind, Patrick said festival goers won’t want to miss the opening night ceremonies complete with The Parris Island Marine Band and fireworks at dusk on Friday.
Another crowd favorite is Saturday’s Concert in the Park. This year’s headliner is country music singer/ songwriter Tyler Farr.
Farr’s most recent album, Suffer In Peace, released in 2015, debuted in the top five on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, and before that his album Redneck Crazy, released in 2013, made No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart and No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200, making Farr the only solo male country artist in the last 10 years whose first two studio albums debuted in the Billboard Top 200 Albums Top 5.
Emily Ann Roberts, who fans may remember from Season 9 of The Voice, will open for Farr. Roberts has several Billboard singles and two No. 1 iTunes country songs to her name.
Texas-based Copper Chief, a roots-country-rock band will also perform during the Saturday night concert.
2019 BEAUFORT WATER FESTIVAL
Saturday, July 12-Sunday, July 21
For tickets or more information, visit www.bftwaterfestival.com