The 10-day celebration of Beaufort’s love of the water wraps up this weekend with a unique downtown race, parade and the introduction of the next commodore.
Much of that is dependent on weather, which has been volatile throughout the week. More poor weather is possible this weekend, with a chance of rain and thunderstorms through the end of the Water Festival on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
Festival volunteers are optimistic and said everything was on schedule Thursday afternoon. The festival will announce any schedule changes, said Water Festival public relations coordinator Shawn Doran.
“As we know, the weather can be unpredictable, and we continue to keep a watch on the weather forecasts,” Doran said. “We are definitely hoping the weather shifts, but no cancellations have been made.”
The festival rescheduled its opening fireworks show to Tuesday because of rain. Weather cut short the entertainment Monday night and forced a delay during the annual talent show Wednesday.
But the show has gone on.
If all goes to plan this weekend, teams will race down Bay Street on hospital beds Friday. The downtown parade follows the traditional route Saturday morning and stunt planes will dip and dive over the Beaufort River in the afternoon.
The 63rd annual Water Festival ends Sunday with the Blessing of the Fleet.
2018 Beaufort Water Festival
10 a.m.-7 p.m.: Arts and crafts market.
5 p.m.: Bed race. $25 entry per team. 4:30 p.m. check-in. Same-day registration based on space.
8 p.m.: River Dance. $15 admission. Gates open at 7 p.m. Must be 18 or older. Free shuttle from Beaufort County Government Center.
9 a.m.-7 p.m.: Arts and crafts market.
10 a.m.-noon: Water Festival Grand Parade. Downtown Beaufort.
Noon-4 p.m.: Nonprofit Expo.
1 p.m.-4 p.m.: Air show. Free admission. Stunt planes, U.S. Coast Guard demo.
8 p.m.: Commodore’s Ball. Cost is $10, gates open at 7 p.m. Children 5 and under are free.
9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Arts and crafts market.
Noon- 2 p.m.: Blessing of the Fleet and Parade of Boats.