The 59th Beaufort Water Festival will include two concerts by national recording artists -- one each weekend of the 10-day festival.
Festival organizers announced Friday that country singer Eric Paslay, whose single "Friday Night" is in the top-10 on Billboard's country music chart, will perform July 25 at River Dance. The night usually features regional bands and artists.
"Over the years, we've seen a steady decline in participation (over the week) so we did decided to bring in another big act," festival commodore Brandy Gray said. "And let's face it, country is hot."
Country music artist and U.S. Army veteran Craig Morgan will headline the festival's Concert in the Park, event organizers announced Tuesday.
The festival will be July 18 to 27, with most events in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park.
Paslay released his self-titled debut album Tuesday, and "Friday Night" is ranked sixth this week on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Also a songwriter, he has cuts on Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" album and co-wrote Jake Owen's hit "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" with Dylan Altman and Terry Sawchuk.
Opening for Paslay will be Marjory Lee, a native South Carolinian who toured last summer with Armed Forces Entertainment and performed for U.S. troops overseas, according to a news release. Lee is from Fripp Island and attended Beaufort Academy, Gray said. She has opened for acts such as Toby Keith and Rodney Atkins, the release said.
Additional concert announcements are expected as Water Festival draws nearer, but Paslay and Morgan will be the only national acts, Gray said.
Another change is planned to shake up the regular schedule, she added. The traditional Tropical Tuesday will be replaced by Salsa Tuesday. Other theme nights will remain the same.
"It's all about changing things up, wanting to do things different," Gray said. "It'll be fun Latin music with horns and just upbeat music."
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.