Festival celebrants learn the tricks of the trade

bheffernan@islandpacket.comJuly 26, 2013 

There are tricks to squeezing the most enjoyment out of the Beaufort Water Festival.

Michael and Linda Bamber have learned a few of them.

It's only the couple's first year at the festival, but the Athens, Ga. pair managed to grab two of the best seats in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park for Friday's River Dance concert, headlined by The Dirty Guv'nas.

The secret, they said while sitting atop the concrete steps with the sea breeze at their backs, was just a little foresight.

They planted their lawnchairs there at 3:30 p.m.

Other tricks come after you've been to a few festivals.

Greg and Sheila Boulware say they've been coming for more than 20 years.

Even though they live in Port Royal, they always rent a room at the Best Western Plus Sea Island Inn on Bay Street.

Sheila said staying so close to the park is perfect for their kids, who love swimming at the pool and then walking over to the festival grounds.

By night's end, Greg said he appreciates having only a short stroll home.

Hope you didn't miss: The chicken-fried finale of the annual Bed Race. Just as Commodore Don Thompson's race bed -- tasseled with Maryland Fried Chicken boxes -- was about to limp across the finish line of the two-block course, he was flanked, then drenched by sabateurs armed with jugs of ice water.

Once he crossed the line, the situation got better -- or batter -- when he blindsided by a bag of flour.

Better not miss: Saturday's main event is the Commodore's Ball at the park. Gates open at 7 p.m., and The Holiday Band starts playing at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Volunteer of the day: Christian Sherbert

A man could lose sleep over the pressures of being the official timekeeper for the annual Bed Races, but Christian Sherbert has been sleeping like the proverbial log.

When not volunteering for the race on Bay Street between Harrington and Charles streets, Sherbert, 44, works as a real estate agent for Island Realty.

This is only the second year he has volunteered for the festival, but Sherbert, who called himself a "Beaufort townie," said he's been participating in festival events since he was a kid.

Socially speaking: @therealbtweet21 "Think ima go celebrate some water in Beaufort tonight"

The competitive edge: The Werewolves won the Bed Races with a time of 35 seconds. Low Country Seabees came in second place .

Follow reporter Brian Heffernan at twitter.com/IPBG_Brian

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