Beaufort Water Festival

Rain can't dampen the groove at Water Festival's Motown Monday concert

The 54th annual Beaufort Water Festival saw its first bit of nasty weather Monday evening as thunderstorms rolled through the area, delaying the Motown Monday concert by an hour.

But hundreds still made it to the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park to catch Golden Touch of Atlanta sing Motown hits once the weather had cleared.

As the band launched into its first song, "Get Ready," a group of children danced on the grass in front of the stage before people of all ages joined them on what became the concert dance floor.

"I love this night," said Charlie Wiggins of Beaufort, one of the adults showcasing his moves. "The music is awesome. We're having a great time."

The weather didn't affect the opening day of the festival's croquet tournament, which runs through Thursday.

But volunteers scrambled to cover lighting and sound equipment, along with arts and crafts tents as rain set later in the day.

"Some of the tents blew over and others broke with the big gusts of wind," said Bonnie Thompson, a festival director. "We got some of it up, but they'll have to fix the rest (today)."

The rain delayed the band's sound check to about 8:30 p.m., a half hour after they were scheduled to start. Festival-goers were still filing closer to 9 p.m. and didn't seem to mind.

Joan Gregory of Beaufort clapped along with others to the band's sound check rendition of "Boogie Oogie Oogie."

"This is my first Water Festival, and I've been very impressed," Gregory said. "It's such a nice treat to get out and hear some good music."