Friday marks the opening of the 62nd Annual Beaufort Water Festival, and if you’re anything like us over here at ESPB, you can feel the excitement mounting. For Beaufortonians, the Water Festival is the summer event. Everyone you know is home for the summer, and there is no shortage of entertainment. For those of you with children, Water Festival can seem a bit daunting, between trying to find the perfect parking spot, to surviving the hot July heat.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your entire family has a blast this Water Festival:
The most important thing is to stay hydrated, and water should be your top choice. Temperatures will approach 100 degrees this time of year with heat indexes jumping over even higher quite often, and whether it is overcast or sunny, you will want to keep yourself and your little ones properly hydrated. This goes for both local and tourist alike.
Don’t skimp out on the sunscreen.
Whether it is overcast or blue skies and sunshine, the July sun in Beaufort can be unrelenting, and you are sure to feel it even if you’re only outside for an hour. Don’t forget to lather up you and the little ones with adequate sunscreen to prevent sunburn. Hats also offer extra protection from the sun. In this Lowcountry heat, you can never be too careful. Don’t let burns and blisters be the lasting memories of this year’s Water Festival.
Be prepared for long lines and big crowds.
The Water Festival is the most anticipated time of the year here in Beaufort, so expect a tremendous amount of people downtown. Be patient! We’re all out for the same reason – to have a fun day downtown with family and friends.
If you have any questions, just ask any one of the 400 friendly volunteers and they’ll be glad to help you.
Keeping your child safe during Festival events is the greatest priority to parents, especially if this is your first time venturing out to these events with kids. With large crowds, it doesn’t take much to get lost in the shuffle. Unfortunately, festivals do sometimes bring out those who are more interested in mischief of all kinds, rather than celebration. While Beaufort police diligently patrol the area, make sure that you do not wander off by yourself, especially at night. Stay in well-lit, populated areas, and if you need any help getting home after a long night, there will be plenty of taxi cabs to get you there safely.
With all the people who will be flocking downtown during the Festival, parking can be tricky…to say the absolute least. Remember to respect people’s property by not parking in front of their homes unless otherwise permitted. While there is typically plenty of parking – paid and unpaid – downtown, if you can’t find a decent spot, don’t get frustrated.
The good folks at the Water Festival will be offering a free shuttle service from the Beaufort County multi-government center on the corner of Ribaut Road and Boundary Street, to the Downtown Marina parking lot in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. If you’re not taking the shuttle, visit our interactive Downtown Parking Map for some help. Don’t let those parking tickets put a damper on your fun.
The shuttle service will run every 15 minutes during the nightly events.
Beer and wine will be available in the park at just about every event. While drinking is expected of festival goers, please drink responsibly. Police officers will patrolling the park, so save yourself the hassle of a ticket or, even worse, an arrest, and handle yourselves accordingly.
Above all else, have fun! Water Festival is a fantastic opportunity for fun and a great time to make memories with family and friends. Enjoy everything the 61st Annual Beaufort Water Festival has to offer.
We’ll see you there!