After all the time Beaufort Water Festival volunteer teams must spend together throughout the year, a bond develops for the one week of showtime.
The festival’s family will be led for the next year by someone who has put in the time developing those relationships.
Stacey Canaday will become the festival’s 63rd commodore, taking over for Jason Berry. She was announced during the annual Change of Watch ceremony Saturday evening.
“Everybody puts it on for everybody else,” said Canaday, who has also served on the boards of Friends of Caroline Hospice and Child Abuse Prevention Association. “We have this big event and everybody’s involved. I like that.”
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The Beaufort native, an attorney and shareholder at Tupper, Grimsley & Dean Law Firm, has volunteered for the Water Festival the last 15 years.
Her experience began as a Pirette during the early 1990s. She joined the festival in 2002 assisting with Children’s Day and took over the event the following year.
She’s poured beer, worked the gate, sold tickets and served last year as first lady to husband Chris, the 61st commodore.
“It’s time management, it’s people management ,” Canaday said of leading the festival. “It’s being flexible, letting things roll with the punches. That’s a hard thing for anybody to learn. It’s a necessary component.”
The Water Festival closes with the Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats from noon until 2 p.m. Sunday in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.