Beaufort Water Festival

Despite brief downpour, River Dance doesn't miss a step

After a brief rain delay, the crowd gathered Friday night to dance in front of the stage as Shark Rodeo performed at River Dance at the 54th Annual Beaufort Water Festival.
After a brief rain delay, the crowd gathered Friday night to dance in front of the stage as Shark Rodeo performed at River Dance at the 54th Annual Beaufort Water Festival.

Though there are only two days left, the 54th annual Beaufort Water Festival showed no signs of slowing down Friday night. Hundreds packed Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park less than a half hour after severe weather nearly canceled the night's festivities.

Less than 10 minutes before the scheduled 8 p.m. start of the River Dance -- an 18 and older function formerly known as the Street Dance -- the skies opened up, dumping buckets off rain on downtown Beaufort and sending would-be festivalgoers scurrying for cover.

Huddled under the overhang near The Craftsellers on Bay Street, Scott and Stacy Parke of Lady's Island said they knew inclement weather might be a part of their Friday night.

"It looked like it was getting ready to fall out," Scott said. "But with the weather around here, you can never be too certain."

Festival organizers consulted with meteorologists at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort to determine whether the system would push through orforce organizers to call it a night.

After it was determined that the area wasn't in the path of any oncoming storms, organizers gave the green light and festivalgoers began filing into the park.

At about 9:10 p.m., Beaufort band Shark Rodeo took the stage and the show went on.

Sitting on the brick steps of Waterfront Park with two of her friends, Rebecca Jones of Beaufort said she was glad the weather held off.

"River Dance is one of the best nights of the Water Festival," she said. "Everyone gets kind of glammed up, comes out and has a good time."

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