History

The first festival was held in July 1956 with John Bigbee serving as the first President and Gladys Thompson in charge of the visiting queens. The Lions Club took the job of putting on the first parade and has been doing so every year since.

 

In the early days of the Festival, it cost fifty cents to attend the Beauty Pageant, one dollar per couple to attend the Water Festival Ball (which was later changed to the Commodore’s Ball) and two dollars to attend the Regatta Ball. The first weekend featured two days of sailboat races and the Regatta Ball. The following weekend began with the Beauty Pageant on Friday where the Queen of the Carolina Sea Islands was crowned. The parade and ski show, put on by the Beaufort Water Ski Club, and an air show highlighted the second weekend, in addition to the Water Festival Ball. All events were held on or adjacent to the municipal parking lot and in case of inclement weather (we never use the word “rain” when speaking of the Festival), the pageant would move indoors to the Beaufort Elementary School and the Balls would be held in the Community Club.

 

As the years went by, the Festival began to draw more and more people to Beaufort from other parts of the state and on a national level. Events such as fishing and golf tournaments as well as a craft market and Sponsors’ and Community Non-Profit expos were added to the line up so the Festival had something to offer for every age and interest. The Festival continues to add new events and drop some events to keep current with the interests of festival-goers.

 

Over 400 volunteers work long hours to bring the events to the Festival. The Festival is able to offer first class entertainment at reasonable prices because of the generosity of our loyal sponsors.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

May
9
Sat
9:00 am Paddle Battle @ Parris Island Landing
Paddle Battle @ Parris Island Landing
May 9 @ 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sponsored by Village at Battery Creek Registration begins at 9:00 am Race starts at 12:00 pm $25 per adult $20 per youth
May
30
Sat
11:00 am Sailing Regatta @ Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club
Sailing Regatta @ Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club
May 30 @ 11:00 am – May 31 @ 3:00 pm
Sponsored by the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club Registration is May 30, from 11:00 am to 1:00pm The Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club will be open [...]
Jun
5
Fri
6:00 pm Fishing Tournament – Captain’s Meeting @ The Shed
Fishing Tournament – Captain’s Meet… @ The Shed
Jun 5 @ 6:00 pm
Sponsored by Thompson Builders Captain’s Meeting is June 5th, 6:00pmWeigh-in is located at the Downtown Marina between 3:00pm and 5:00pm
Jun
6
Sat
8:00 am 5k and 15k Run @ Parris Island
5k and 15k Run @ Parris Island
Jun 6 @ 8:00 am
Sponsored by Omni Health and Fitness
9:30 am Volleyball Tournament @ Parris Island track field
Volleyball Tournament @ Parris Island track field
Jun 6 @ 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Sponsored by  9:30 am check-in; 10:00 am start time Register by May 30th Entry fee of $65.00 per three person team $15.00 for a junior [...]

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