Photo above: Cara Russell of Highway 21 Drive In hauls her cooking equipment across water-logged turf in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Photo by Bob Sofaly.
By Bob Sofaly
The 21st annual Shrimp Festival was cancelled Saturday morning because inclement weather, according to LaNelle Fabian, executive director of Main Street Beaufort. “This is the first time in 21 years it’s had be cancelled” she said. But there was no getting around the rain and wind that stayed with Beaufort for about 86 hours. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from Thursday to Sunday at 2 p.m., Beaufort got 5.63” while just up the road, Mount Pleasant got 24.23” total.
Fabian said the festival started out with a “decent” turnout on Friday night but went downhill after that. She said of the nearly 200 runners registered for the 5K race, about half actually showed up Saturday morning to run in the rain.
Given the forecast and safety of those either working at the festival or travelling to or from the festival, on Saturday morning officials from both the City of Beaufort and Main Street Beaufort made the collective decision to cancel the event. Food vendors, already set up since Friday, had to take down their tents and cookers and call it day before it even got started, all the time dealing with constant light misting of rain or steady drizzle.
The shrimp festival is one of the largest fund raisers for Main Street Beaufort. “It’s too soon to tell” how much of loss it will be but “it’s definitely going to be a loss, not just for us but for others as well”, she said. “Given all the planning that goes into such an event, there is no way to reschedule it for this year. We will just start on plans for 2016.”
From left: Rain didn’t stop the faithful from participating in the 21st annual Shrimp Festival 5K race Saturday. However, only half of the registered runners showed up to run; Jason Bailey, co-owner of Q on Bay, packs up his deep fryers Saturday as the rain continued to come down; A little rain didn’t stop these women from running in the annual Shrimp Fest 5k race Saturday morning; Charlotte Maffett leads the way while her friend Max Whitman follows close behind as they splash through standing water Saturday morning. The youngsters were waiting for their parents to get finished running in the annual Shrimp Fest 5K race. Photos by Bob Sofaly.