It's not everyday local social studies teacher and wrestling coach Bill Damude gets to throw a dinner party -- let alone one large enough to feed more than 3,000 folks.
Still, Damude appeared to have things under control Thursday as thousands lined up for a helping of the Beaufort Water Festival's annual Lowcountry Supper at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
"Huge crowds come out to eat the dinner we serve," said Damude, the festival's marketing and public relations coordinator. "It's not often I get to serve 3,500 people."
About 1,400 pounds of local shrimp were prepared for the traditional supper, Damude said. Also included in the meal were 1,100 pounds of sausage, 3,500 ears of corn, 3,500 rolls, 500 pounds of coleslaw and 300 gallons of iced tea.
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David Youmans was among the many volunteers dishing up plates of food. The Beaufort Rotary Club member said he loves the familiarity and community spirit of the annual event.
"I see people tonight that I haven't seen since we were serving the dinner last year," Youmans said. "It's a lot of fun."
Entertainment for the night included performances by the Groovetones and Eagles tribute band 7 Bridges.
As is tradition, the festival's past four commodores donned costumes and performed a skit as The World Famous Whistlers.
For Beaufort residents Lucille Lipsitz and her grandson Adam, the supper's appeal really boils down to one thing -- a community coming together to enjoy some delicious food.
"It's just a great gathering of locals, and the food, the food is wonderful," Adam Lipsitz said.