The stage at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park doesn't play favorites.
Over the last 30 years, it has hosted performances as diverse as "Lowcountry Shakespeare" to a fiddle-playing Charlie Daniels who brought along a devil from neighboring Georgia.
Hundreds of ballerinas and tappers have had their night under the stars at dance recitals and talent competitions, and more than a few beauty queens have been crowned after walking up the steps to show off their sashes and take their bows.
The stage allowed folks downtown to hear it in a love song played by Marshall Tucker Band.
Some of the acts that played there had already hit it big.
Others were just about to. Country singer Josh Turner took to the stage just before he headed to much bigger venues.
Politicians of all persuasions have come to the park to sing tunes of a different sort.
Then Vice President George H.W. Bush swung through on his campaign for president in 1988. He left the limo's engine running while he said a few words , shook a few hands, smiled and left.
Gov. Carroll Campbell came to the park's stage four years later to spend a much longer time asking for another term from a much smaller crowd.
There has been laughter there, too.
The late Southern comedian Lewis Grizzard once drove in from Atlanta to tell a few jokes. How sober he was during his performance is still a matter of debate, though being helped offstage certainly factored into that discussion.
Fellow humorist Jerry Clower brought a memorable presence a decade later. Clower's stories -- full of homespun phrases and punctuated by what can only be described as animal noises -- were as loud as his bright red suit.
There have also been tears.
The park was a gathering spot for the community in the wake of the September 11th attacks, a time and place where we could all come together.
It is simply "our" space, as appreciated as the view of the Beaufort River it offers.
Easter sunrise services and community chorale performances are still held there. It has been the scene of religious conversions, and money has been raised for good and worthy causes.
But some of it's most special performances occur almost daily and you never need a ticket to see them.
Where there is an empty stage, there will be a child or a teenager willing to act out their fantasies of singing, acting, praying or dancing in front of whatever audience happens to be passing by. The stage accommodates them as well.
And gives people all over town a place to perform -- and live.
Ryan Copeland is a Beaufort native. He can be reached at email@example.com.