Shrimp Festival back in Beaufort


 By Mike McCombs 

“It’s gonna be awesome.” 

Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray found it difficult to hide his enthusiasm when talking about the 27th annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival, scheduled for this weekend at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. 

Last year’s event was one of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It’s been a long year and a half,” Murray said. “(Every major event has) either been canceled or dramatically changed. It is important to get back to normal, or some semblance of it. It’s different for everybody and going forward, of course, there might be some adjustments. But we all crave a sense of normalcy.

“That’s why it’s important to do these things and not just lock ourselves away and hide from the virus.”

Murray said this weekend’s festival is vital to Beaufort for several reasons.

First among those, he said, is the community’s psychology. It needs the return to normal.

And, of course, there’s the economic component. And Murray said the Shrimp Festival holds an important time slot as the kickoff to the entire fall tourist season.

There’s no doubt many agree with Murray, but for many people, this weekend is all about the shrimp. And there will be a lot of them as the two-day festival will feature numerous unique shrimp dishes from some of the area’s top restaurants.

The event is free, while food and beverages can be purchased with tickets for sale at several points throughout the park.

“There will be some minor changes,” Murray said, “but for the most part, it’s the same format you’ve seen the past few years.”

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Beaufort Digital Corridor presents the 2021 Beaufort Shrimp Festival Run Forrest Run 5K Run/Walk beginning on Bay Street at Newcastle Street. Runners will follow a course featuring spots where the movie Forrest Gump was filmed.

To register, visit https://bit.ly/3maqmzo. Deadline is midnight Thursday, Sept. 30.

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Sea Island Rotary Club presents the 13th annual Charity Shrimp Race. To purchase a shrimp for a chance at the $30,000 grand prize, visit www.seaislandrotary.org.

“We’re hoping for good weather,” Murray said, “And we’re looking forward to seeing the community.”

Beaufort Shrimp Festival 2021 Schedule

Friday, Oct. 1


5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Food and Beverage Ticket Sales

3 to 9:30 p.m.

Arts & Crafts Market

Noon to 6 p.m.


5 p.m.: Host Mike Partain

5:30 p.m.: Mahoganee

6:30 p.m.: Welcome from the Mayor

7-10 p.m.: The Tams

Saturday, Oct. 2


11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Run Forrest Run 5K

7 a.m.: Check In

8 a.m.: Race Starts

Food and Beverage Ticket Sales

10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Coastal Education Fair

Noon to 3 p.m.

Kids Corner

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rotating)

Kazoo Performance at Circle of Palms

Face Painting

Arts & Crafts Market

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


11 a.m.: Host Mike Partain

11:30 a.m.: Bull Grapes

1 p.m.: The Parris Island Rock Band

2 p.m.: Sea Island Rotary Shrimp Race

3-4 p.m.: Dixie Land Jazz Ensemble

Previous Story

OktoPRfest Fun

Next Story

McMaster rallies his base in Sun City speech

Latest from Arts


Walker Dean, far right, and Eric Taylor entertained the growing First Friday crowd with popular songs