By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
It is similar to the famous Running of The Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, without the horns. It separates the weak from the strong, the social from the awkward and men from boys. Nomads from near and far hear the call and make their way towards the water, the sun, the sand and the beer tent. It is an awakening of sorts, a back to basics of the very essence of summer; a timeless call of nature that reverberates through the bone of every misplaced pirate across our great land. It is the time of year where bikinis replace business suits, work surrenders to play and common sense bows down to common ground. Hold on to your Koozie, it is Beaufort Water Festival 2013.
Women are carefully coated in spray tan and sunscreen, slipping from Mom to Madonna in 10 seconds flat. Men all of ages, sizes, shapes and sentiment instantly morph into maritime masters of mischief as they loosen their ties and their schedules to answer the call of wild. There is no first class, no VIP section, no wardrobe of distinction — and absolutely no making it to work on time. It is the great equalizer of fun, the absence of monotony and the definition of mayhem. Shrimpers, lawyers, waitresses and students converge on the Sandbar with one common goal, to survive the next two weeks and resurface with unforgettable moments and forgivable offenses.
The worries of an injured economy, an uncertain government and the latest diet fade as fried chicken and boiled peanuts take priority over just about everything. Facebook fights, frenemy spats, even family feuds are neutralized by the salt water and sunshine. Little care is given to dress code as flip flops and tan lines are a sure sign of happy times. Our downtown streets become meeting place for long lost friends, newly lost dignity and new found respect for aspirin.
Our little town by the sea celebrates all that we are, all that we love and all that we try to hide the remainder of the year as we greet our fellow sea lovers with the long awaited “Happy Water Festival!”
During the next two weeks we are all the same sunburned seekers of the great escape from all that is wrong in the world. We appreciate the freedom of the tides, the beauty of our town and unspoken agreement amongst friends to edit all photos before posting on Facebook. May the next two weeks bring you joy, laughter, tan lines and good times and leave you without the need for bail, an attorney or a moving company.
Happy Water Festival Y’all!