Another Beaufort Shrimp Festival has come and gone and 2017’s version sure was a good one drawing thousands to downtown’s Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. With fabulous Lowcountry weather, the crowds were very large and lively and many of the competing restaurants had the delightful surprise of having to keep up with the flock of hungry festival goers.
Forrest Gump made an appearance all festival long and was most likely the subject of over 500 selfies as he wowed folks wherever he went, complete with suitcase, running shoes and umbrella.
Shrimp boats dotted the Intracoastal Waterway, Deas Guyz, Souls Harbor and Steel Rail Express rocked Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, and lots of folks were up on their feet dancing. There was the Sea Island Rotary Club’s Charity Shrimp Race, the Run Forrest Run 5K, the Popcorn Shrimp (kids) Race, mascots and an exciting Kids’ Shrimp Peeling Competition.
Oh, and Beaufort’s favorite shrimp boat, Gracie Belle, was back after storm damage repairs and was proudly docked at the seawall along with the Palmetto Pride. Folks were sure glad to see her.
The draft beer flowed, and washed down a variety of shrimp recipes offered up by many of our local restaurants who were competing for several Shrimp Festival awards. Festival-goers were treated to a variety of fried shrimp, grilled shrimp, breaded recipes, dishes with polenta, shrimp salads, buffalo shrimp, shrimp burgers and many more.
For Saturday morning’s 5K, the weather was perfect as some 300 runners and walkers massed at Bay Street’s Freedom Park before 8am to enjoy the morning. The 5K has become a tradition at the Beaufort Shrimp Festival, growing in numbers each year. This year’s 5K men’smen’s winners were Stephen Noble and Caitlin Howe.
For hundreds of photos of the 23rd Annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival, visit our Photo Gallery.