Beaufort News

Good food, good fun mark Water Festival's Lowcountry Supper

Haley Blackson, 6, left, enjoys an ear of corn as her sister, Ella, 2, right, samples a slice of watermelon during the Lowcountry Supper on Thursday night .
Haley Blackson, 6, left, enjoys an ear of corn as her sister, Ella, 2, right, samples a slice of watermelon during the Lowcountry Supper on Thursday night . Staff photo

With nearly 50 years of experience in the shrimping business, Beaufort resident Ronnie Hines knows good shrimp.

The shrimp he had at Thursday's Lowcountry Supper fit that bill just fine.

"The shrimp here is some of the best I've had," he said. "I'm from North Carolina, and the shrimp they have up there is hard to match, but the shrimp for Water Festival is one of the best places I've had."

A Beaufort resident for the past 12 years, Hines said he has been coming to the festival for eight years. Each time he was impressed by the food and the music, he said.

Over 1,000 pounds of shrimp, 1,300 pounds of sausage, and 2,400 half ears of corn were served as part of Thursday's Lowcountry Supper, festival public relations coordinator Stacey Canaday said.

Despite the threat of rain in the area, lines for the supper began forming outside Henry C. Chambers Waterfront around 4:45 p.m. Hundreds were served starting at 6 p.m., with the rain thankfully staying away through the musical performances later in the night.

Hope you didn't miss: You came for the food, but did you stay for the entertainment? The Blue Dots opened the show at the Lowcountry Supper with some classic rock hits, like Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock." Following the Blue Dots was the much anticipated yearly performance of the Beaufort Whistlers, made up of 57th Festival Commodore John Gentry, 56th Commodore Bob Bible, 55th Commodore Sheri Little, and 46th Commodore Ed Saxon. Eagles tribute band On The Border capped the night's festivities with a selection of the Eagles greatest hits.

Better not miss: Today's main event is the annual Bed Race. Sports coordinator Bill Damude said five teams are competing in the event, which typically features different costumes and unusual decorations on the beds. The event starts at 5 p.m. and will be held along Bay Street between Harrington and Charles streets.

Volunteers of the day: Jason Dangerfield, Craig Reaves, and Mel Arant, all of Beaufort.

Someone has to cook the shrimp and sausage served at the Lowcountry Supper. On Thursday, that duty fell to three people: Jason Dangerfield, Craig Reaves, and Mel Arant.

Typically the shrimp is steamed at Naval Hospital Beaufort and served chilled, but a gas problem at the hospital kitchen caused some of the steamers to not work, Dangerfield said.

Together with Sea Eagle Market owner Reaves, who provided the shrimp, Dangerfield steamed the shrimp on site and Arant cooked the sausage, feeding the lines of hungry festival attendees as they gathered. The kitchen issues meant that for the first time in years, the shrimp was served hot at Water Festival.

Socially speaking: @Caro_Coxwell, Caroline Coxwell: "Did someone really call and ask if we were having lowcountry broil for lowcountry supper tonight? #.piretteprobz"

The competitive edge: Dena Maynard and Stan Abrahamson won the 9 wicket croquet tournament. Jo Abrahamson and Don Smith were runners up.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at