Beaufort Water Festival 2023 Guide

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The first Beaufort Water Festival was held in 1956. It had a parade and a ski show. It cost fifty cents to attend the beauty pageant, one dollar per couple to attend the Water Festival Ball (now it’s the Commodore’s Ball) and two dollars per couple to attend the Regatta Ball and was held on two weekends.

It was successful from the beginning and each year attendance has grown. A fishing tournament and a golf tournament were added along with a craft market and Sponsors and Community Non-profit Expos.

Today the Beaufort Water Festival is celebrated over 10 days. More than 400 volunteers work long hours and that, along with sponsors’ contributions, make this festival happen and offer first class entertainment at reasonable prices.

Nightly Entertainment at 2023 Beaufort Water Festival

Friday, July 14

  • Opening Ceremony at Waterfront Park at 7 pm
  • Entertainment is Parris Island Marine Band and a Fireworks Display
  • This is sponsored by Devil Dog Headquarters

Saturday, July 15

Concert In The Park at Waterfront Park at 7 pm – The entertainment is Randy Houser, Gabrielle Mooney and Andrew Beam. This is sponsored by New Country, B&B 106.9.

Sunday, July 16

Teen Dance at Waterfront Park from 6 pm to 9 pm – This is for 13 to 19 only. It is sponsored by JOHN 3:16.

Monday, July 17

Motown Monday at Waterfront Park at 8 pm – Entertainment is Deas Guyz. It is sponsored by South State Banks.

Tuesday, July 18

Island Time Tuesday at 8 pm at Waterfront Park – The entertainment is Sons of Soldiers. It is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. This is First Responders and Military Appreciation Night with free admission with active duty ID.

Wednesday, July 19

Talent Show at Waterfront Park at 7 pm – This is hosted by The Perception Omega Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. It is sponsored by CPM Federal Credit Union.

Thursday, July 20

Lowcountry Supper at Waterfront Park from 6 pm to 7:30 pm – The entertainment is Firebird, Chris Jonas and The Whistlers. It is sponsored by First Federal Bank.

Friday, July 21

Rockin’ the River at Waterfront Park at 8 pm – The entertainment is Led Zeppelin 2 and Killin’ Quaid. Attendees must be 18+ with a valid photo ID. It is sponsored by Quality Electrical Systems.

Saturday, July 22

Commodores Ball at Waterfront Park at 8 pm – The entertainment is ACE Party Band. It is sponsored by Mike’s Marine Sales & Service.

Arts & Crafts Market

The Water Festival’s Arts & Crafts Market has many unique items and it’s fun to browse. You never know what you’ll find next. It’s located at the Promenade at Waterfront Park.

Arts & Crafts Market Hours

  • Friday, July 14 – 2 pm to 7 pm
  • Saturday, July 15 – 9:30 am to 7 pm
  • Sunday, July 16 – 9:30 am to 5 pm
  • Monday, July 17 to Thursday, July 20 – 12 pm to 7 pm
  • Friday, July 21 – 9:30 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday, July 22 – 9:30 am to 7 pm
  • Sunday, July 23 – 9:30 am to 3 pm

Water Festival Events

Saturday, July 15

  • Raft Races from 8:30 am to Noon at Waterfront Park Seawall
  • Bocce Tournament at Waterfront Park Main Field from 8 am
  • Badminton Tournament at Waterfront Park Stage Field from 9 am
  • Children’s Toad Fishing Tournament from 10 am to Noon at Waterfront Park Seawall
  • Sponsor’s Expo from 10 am to 2 pm at Waterfront Park Pavilion
  • Shrimp Boat Tours from Noon to 4 pm at Waterfront Park Seawall

Sunday, July 16

  • River Rally from 9 am to 1 pm at Local Waters
  • Children’s Day from 11 am to 3 pm at Waterfront Park
  • Shrimp Boat Tours from Noon to 4 pm at Waterfront Park Seawall
  • Ski Show at Waterfront Park at 1 pm

Friday, July 21

  • Bed Race at the corner of Bay and Harrington at 4:30 pm

Saturday, July 22

  • Water Festival Grand Parade in Downtown Beaufort from 10 am to Noon – It is organized by The Beaufort Lions Club and sponsored by Taylor’s Landscape Supply & Nursery.
  • Non-profit Expo from Noon to 4 pm at Waterfront Park Pavilion
  • Air Show from 1 pm to 4 pm at Waterfront Park with stunt planes & parachutists – It is sponsored by Executive Flight Training.

Sunday, July 23

  • Blessing of the fleet & parade of boats at Beaufort River at front of Waterfront Park Seawall from Noon to 2 pm

Beaufort Hotels & Restaurants

If you’d like to visit Beaufort, South Carolina, then the hotel we recommend most if Hilton Garden Inn.  We’ve stayed at multiple hotels in Beaufort and this is our favorite one; you can read our Hilton Garden Inn Beaufort review here.

If you are looking for a cheaper hotel that is also convenient for the festival, consider one of these hotels (and you can find cheap prices for these hotels here):

  • Quality Inn at Town Center
  • Comfort Suites near MCAS Beaufort
  • Sleep Inn Beaufort

While you’re in Beaufort, you really should try some of that delicious South Carolina barbecue. IMHO, South Carolina is the best ever! Try one of the following barbecue restaurants that were named as the best four barbecue restaurants in Beaufort by the users of TripAdvisor.

  1. Q On Bay
  2. The Smokehouse at Paris Avenue
  3. Roadhouse Ribs
  4. Island Fish Market

Beaufort is a city known for its great seafood.  My family loves the seafood restaurants in Beaufort.  You can read our reviews to two of our favorites: