65th Annual Beaufort Water Festival Commodore aims to ensure event lasts 65 more years

Erin “Tank” Morris, a Beaufort resident, was announced Saturday as the 65th Annual Beaufort Water Festival Commodore.

“It is extremely humbling to be given the opportunity that only 64 other people have been given,” Morris said Sunday. “I’m still processing it.”

The Beaufort County native has been volunteering with the festival for 15 years and has been attending it for a lifetime.

“Being born and raised on Lady’s Island, I can remember coming across the drawbridge and every time I saw downtown, I always thought about the Beaufort Water Festival,” Morris said.

He remembers his youth at the festival watching speedboat races, concerts and attending teen nights.

“These are all great memories,” Morris said. “It is clear to me that I should help make sure it is around for another 65 years so my kids can continue to get the memories that I have.”

He has two children, Hunter, 13, and Hannah Grace, 8, with wife Megan Morris, who is executive director of the Santa Elena Foundation.

Morris has worked for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years and holds the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Volunteering for the festival has connected him to the community, he said.

“When you come into the festival, you meet so many different people from so many walks of life and they become great friends,” Morris said. “We call ourselves the festival family.”

Morris replaces the outgoing commodore Brian Patrick.