It's nearly here! 58th Annual Beaufort Water Festival opens Friday

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJuly 13, 2013 

  • All events are at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park unless otherwise noted. Season Pass tickets, $85, provide access to all night events.



    SUNDAY, JULY 14

  • 2 p.m.: Sailing regatta, (continued) at Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club. Awards, 5 p.m.



  • FRIDAY, JULY 19

  • Noon to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 7 p.m.: Opening ceremony. Gates open at 6 p.m. Marine Corps band to perform then fireworks at dusk. Free.



  • SATURDAY, JULY 20

  • 8 to 11 a.m.: Raft Race

  • 9 a.m.: Badminton tournament

  • 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Sponsor's expo at the pavilion.

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Children's toad fishing tournament. Free for ages 12 and under.

  • Noon to 5 p.m.: DragonBoat race

  • Noon to 4 p.m.: Shrimp boat tours. Free.

  • 8 p.m. to midnight: Concert in the Park by opening acts Chris Jones and The Chuck Courtenay Band, and headliner Chris Cagle. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $25.



  • SUNDAY, JULY 21

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Boat bingo on local waters.

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Children's Day with shows, rides, games and prizes. Free.

  • Noon to 4 p.m.: Shrimp boat tours. Free.

  • * 6 to 9 p.m.: Teen Dance with D.J. Jeff. No entry after 8 p.m. Ages 13-17 only. ID required. Tickets: $12.



    MONDAY, JULY 22

  • Time TBD: Croquet tournament.

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 8 to 11 p.m.: Motown Monday concert with Deas Guyz. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10.



  • TUESDAY, JULY 23

  • Time TBD: Croquet tournament.

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 8 to 11 p.m.: Tropical Tuesday concert with A1A Band and GG's Ballroom Entertainment. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10.



  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 24

  • Time TBD: Croquet tournament.

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 7 to 11 p.m.: Talent Show. Gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets: $10.



  • THURSDAY, JULY 25

  • Time TBD: Croquet tournament.

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 6 to 11 p.m.: Lowcountry Supper with entertainment by The Blue Dots, The Whistlers and On The Border. Supper served until 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15.



  • FRIDAY, JULY 26

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 4:30 p.m.: Bed race check in.

  • 8 p.m. to midnight: River Dance with entertainment by Bootless and The Dirty Guv'nahs. Gates open 7 p.m. Age 18 and over. ID required. Tickets: $12.



  • SATURDAY, JULY 27

  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • 10 a.m. to noon: Water Festival grand parade through downtown.

  • Noon to 4 p.m.: Lowcountry Estuarium. Free.

  • Noon to 4 p.m.: Shrimp boat tours. Free.

  • Noon to 4 p.m.: Non-profit expo at the pavilion.

  • 1 to 4 p.m.: Air show. Free.

  • 8 p.m. to midnight: Commodore's Ball with entertainment by The Holiday Band. Gates open at 7 p.m. Tickets: $10.



  • SUNDAY, JULY 28

  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Festival arts and crafts market on the promenade.

  • Noon to 2 p.m.: Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats. Free.

  • 1 to 3 p.m.: Entertainment by Vessel221.

  • 3 p.m.: Festival ends.

The 58th Annual Beaufort Water Festival returns this week with new events to complement traditional activities that have drawn thousands of visitors and residents for decades.

The 10 days of festivities kick off with opening ceremonies and fireworks Friday night.

"The excitement is building, and it's finally here," said festival spokeswoman Stacey Canaday.

The Water Festival will end July 28, with most events occurring in or near Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Set-up will begin Tuesday and be done in phases leading up to Friday.

All of the traditional theme nights, such as Teen Night, Motown Monday and Tropical Tuesday, are returning, along with the Lowcountry Supper and Talent Show competition.

Country artist Chris Cagle is headlining Saturday night's concert.

"That's going to be a great concert," festival Commodore Dan Thompson said. "We were really lucky to book him while he's on tour this year."

Cagle was booked last fall -- festival organizers have to make arrangements that early to secure big acts.

"You want to get someone who is starting their popularity curve," Thompson said. "The earlier we can get people booked, the cheaper we can get them for. We want to provide a good concert for everybody in town, for the community."

Regional acts will perform other nights. They range from Charlotte-based Eagles tribute band On the Border to rock group The Dirty Guv'nahs from Knoxville, Tenn. Local groups performing include Deas-Guyz and The Blue Dots.

The biggest addition this year will be the DragonBoat races Saturday, sponsored by DragonBoat Beaufort, a cancer-survivor support organization.

The team was created about 18 months ago, and this is its first home competition. As many as 24 teams, some traveling from other states, will race along the park seawall in the Beaufort River.

Paddlers are still needed for some of the teams, and people can sign up at dbb.kintera.org or by emailing vicepresident@dragonboatbeaufort.org. Teams are collecting donations and hope to raise $90,000. The money helps pay for the teams to compete and also helps cancer patients.

"The important part is we give cancer survivors the opportunity to do a reset," said John Dickerson, president of DragonBoat Beaufort. "They've been in cancer treatment, so they're not feeling well. They can . . . get in the boat, paddle and feel better."

The race will also include a carnation ceremony during which flowers will be thrown into the river to honor survivors and victims, like team member Carrie Unsel Freeman, who died Tuesday at age 43. Teammates will write her name on their arms to "bring her into the boat" with them, Dickerson said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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