The best of the Beaufort culinary world will be on display at the annual A Taste of Beaufort on Friday and Saturday at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
About 15 restaurants will offer samples of their best dishes from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. A pre-festival party starts at 6 p.m. Friday with shag dancing and a smaller selection of restaurants.
Friday night is a time to boogie down on the waterfront. Shaggin' with a Taste starts with DJ Jim Bowers spinning beach music at 6 p.m. and The Beaufort Shag Club offering free lessons at 7 p.m. Several restaurants will serve up samples for purchase.
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The main attraction is Saturday afternoon, when the restaurants set up tents and start cooking. Live music will be provided by the Broke Locals, Mac Leaphart & His Ragged Company and Heywire.
A children's area will be set up next to the playground.
For those looking to get an early start on their day, a 5K run will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The cuisine ranges from barbecue to fresh seafood to international flavors.
Participating restaurants include: Bruster's Real Ice Cream, Plums, Berry Island Cafe, Yes! Thai Indeed, Barbara Jean's, Panini's, Gilligan's of Beaufort, Coastal Shaved Ice, Sea Eagle Market, Southern Graces, Shoofly Kitchen, Q on Bay, Bricks on Boundary, Emily's Restaurant and Truman's Eclectic Irish Pub.
Food and drink tickets are $1 each. Samples run between two and seven tickets.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Main Street Beaufort, USA, a nonprofit organization that teams with the City of Beaufort to promote downtown, proposed the festival about 12 years ago. The festival originally was held on Bay Street to showcase the merchants but moved to the waterfront park to alleviate congestion.
Organizers expect about 8,000 guests, said LaNelle Fabian, executive director of Main Street Beaufort, USA.