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Lolita Huckaby

LOWCOUNTRY LOWDOWN

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Ho! Ho! Ho! ’Tis the season to be merry

By Lolita Huckaby

BEAUFORT – Spoiler alert! This is going to be a positive, upbeat column about the cool things that happened in our community over the weekend.

It was OFFICIALLY the city of Beaufort’s Holiday Weekend and even Mother Nature got with the program by providing mild weather – shorts weather, some might say. There was that slight overcast on Sunday but who could complain?

To be sure, some did complain – probably about all the increased traffic, especially on Sunday during the parade and if you were crazy enough to try and cross the Woods Bridge from Lady’s Island.

But by most accounts, the Night on the Town activity was a huge draw, Saturday’s boat parade had the traditional dozen or so decked-out vessels (Congratulations to Mayor Stephen Murray and his family who took top honors for decorations) cruising the waterfront and Sunday’s parade was possibly the biggest in local history.

When you have South Carolina’s No. 1 high school football team leading the parade – congratulations Eagles – there’s bound to be plenty of pep! Plus the Battery Creek and Beaufort Academy football teams were there too, showing their support along with marching bands and cheerleaders.

The Water Festival crew was there with Commodore James Nutt at the helm, reminding us that summer will be here before we know it, and so was the infamous Jim Palmer in the Lions Club convertible, the Lions Club being the official organizers of the annual parade.

Of course there were politicians – state Rep. Shannon Erickson was present, chauffeured by her patient husband, Kendall, and the Beaufort and Port Royal city council members floated along the route as well. As usual, the Beaufort County Council members were missing and there weren’t as many politicians as usual – we missed you, Sen. Tom Davis – but election year is almost over so maybe they were home resting.

There were motorcycles, tricked- out sports cars, the local Jeep club and dance schools – who realized Beaufort had so many dance schools? There were decorated dogs, even pot-bellied pigs, goats and a pony. Unfortunately, no cats (cats don’t put up with parades).

Local churches had their floats, reminding us of the “reason for the Season,” as did local construction companies, tow trucks and even a unit of farm tractors! Who couldn’t love a parade with farm equipment, reminding us of the area’s rural past.

The die-hard dedicated volunteers of the Pritchards Island Turtle Team were all decked out along with information about the number of nests they’d help protect this summer, 125 on Pritchard’s, 118 on Little Capers – and a “trash tree” reminding all to keep those darn balloons out of the water.

Of course there were the fire trucks, looking all shiny and new, except for the city’s 1955 American LaFrance engine which they still keep rolling. And with the final fire truck, Santa.

For those who couldn’t or simply chose not to attend the parade, the city of Beaufort’s Facebook page has a number of photographs you can check out. If parades or having simple fun is not your thing, don’t bother.

Speed limit lowered on Bay Street raceway

BEAUFORT – More good news. The speed limit on the western end of Bay Street has been lowered from 30 mph to 25.

The new state Department of Transportation signs went up last week and there was much rejoicing, especially by the Bay and North Street neighbors who have hammered the city council, the police department, state Rep. Shannon Erickson and about anyone else who would listen.

Of course, once the news was posted on the city’s Facebook, an immediate cry went up from other neighborhoods who wanted their protection against the roadway speedsters.

Harris Teeter, we’re still waiting

LADY’S ISLAND – And dare we hope … progress on that magical Harris Teeter grocery store we’ve been anticipating since 2016?

New landscape fencing has gone up at the Sea Island Parkway site and the city hall folks who know about such things say the North Carolina-based grocery chain, which went through a thorough design review back in 2020 including a major tree-removal discussion, is back with us.ol

City Manager Bill Prokop, who is leaving the post in January, said at a community meeting back in March the project was “still on track with construction to start later this year.” Not much time left.

Now that Sonic appears closed, wouldn’t that be a great location for Graham Trask’s proposed Dunkin Donut shop which was rejected by the county but still under court appeal?Lolita Huckaby Watson is a community volunteer and former reporter/editorial assistant/columnist with The Beaufort Gazette, The Savannah Morning News, Bluffton Today, Beaufort Today and The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.). She can be reached at bftbay@gmail.com

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