Teens boogie at Water Festival dance

astice@islandpacket.comJuly 15, 2012 

Colin Homan, 3, manages to knock down all the bottles with only two tosses Sunday during the annual Beaufort Water Festival Children's Day at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.

PHOTO BY BOB SOFALY

For Cori Talbert, Sunday evening's Teen Dance at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park was "bittersweet": It marked the first time her son, 13-year-old Patrick, was old enough to attend the Beaufort Water Festival event.

Cori and her husband Pat, a chief petty officer with the U.S. Navy, sipped coffee on the porch at Common Ground while Patrick, a Lady's Island Middle School student, attended the event open only to 13- through 17-year-olds.

Their younger children were with a grandparent, which allowed them some "Mom and Dad" time as they waited for the dance's 9 p.m. curfew, she said. Many other parents gathered around the fence closing off the park, looking for a glimpse of their children.

"I think it's a good platform for the teens from all the different schools to mingle," Talbert said. "They do what we would do at an event like this: some of them are dancing, some are just hanging out."

DJ Jeff Taylor of Adventure Radio spun the tunes as the Beaufort Water Festival's Pirettes helped lead dances such as the Electric Slide from the stage for hundreds of teenagers.

School resource officers patrolled the event, and their presence helped quell any disturbances because they were familiar with many of the teenagers in attendance, said the festival's production coordinator Alan Langford.

"It provides a safe environment for teenagers and gives them an event that they can enjoy without any alcohol," said Langford, who is also a staff sergeant at the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

The Teen Dance followed Children's Day as part of the 57th annual Water Festival.

"It's kind of like 'Youth Appreciation Day' around here," said festival spokeswoman Stacey Canaday.

Hope you didn't miss: Children's Day was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Waterfront Park. Rain showers didn't deter any of the fun, from inflatables set up around the park to an appearance by Tux the Clown. Games for toddlers were also available, with each child automatically winning a prize for participating.

Better not miss: Get ready to groove at Motown Monday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. tonight at Waterfront Park. Music will be provided by Hilton Head Island band Deas-Guyz. Gates open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $7; the event is free for active-duty military with valid ID. Shuttle service is available from the Beaufort County Government Center.

Volunteer of the day: After hearing about the fun coworkers at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort had volunteering at the Water Festival, assistant public works director Navy Lt. j.g. Brian Mack said he'd help for the first time this year. As the Water Festival's military director, he coordinates about 100 military volunteers and arranges for loans of equipment, such as fences, from the local bases. "It's a good time out here working together and getting everything done," he said. "It's amazing to see it all come together at the end of the night."

Socially speaking: "Put your boat in and head to the sandbar. That's the real Water Festival." By Lowcorider, commenter on Beaufort Gazette story here.

To see what others are saying about the Beaufort Water Festival on social media, go to www.beaufortgazette.com/waterfestival.

Related content:

The Beaufort Gazette's Water Festival page

Official Beaufort Water Festival page

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