Beaufort crowds gather for annual water festival parade, air show

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The final weekend of the 61st Annual Beaufort Water Festival kicked off on Saturday morning, as the traditional parade took to the streets of downtown Beaufort. Crowds lined the parade route through the historic district, and then took to the waterfront park for the air show. The festival celebrates life by the water with 10 days of events centered on that Lowcountry lifestyle.

The parade brought boats onto dry land, girls dressed in mermaid fins riding down Bay Street, and plenty of water soaking parade spectators.

“Everybody just comes together, you know. It’s a lot of fun,” said Beaufort resident Connie Carson.

“I bring my mother who like I said, is 87 with Alzheimer’s, and she gets a thrill out of the parade, especially when they hand her candy and giver stuff,” Carson said. “I have six grandchildren and she’s just like one of the grandchildren. She gets so excited about the water festival parade.”

Sunday’s big event to close the festival will be the Blessing of the Fleet at the waterfront park.

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