Beaufort's got LOTS of talent

By Hannah Morris |  Spurts of clouds and rain didn’t deter the crowds from attending First Friday yesterday evening at the Habersham Marketplace. Market Street provided a nice stomping ground for local booths, events, a wonderful farmers market, and even a talent show! People came out in droves to check out the festivities and give a great big warm welcome to summer.
Having never been to Habersham before, I was in for a special treat. The buildings were tall and ornate, reminding me of a European village; very quaint, very refreshing. The festival was set with many booths from local businesses around the area. You could shop for handcrafted jewelry and hats, pick up some homegrown vegetables, try out some handmade soaps or beauty products or even inquire about sponsoring a foreign exchange student. In addition to the many wonderful (and packed) restaurants that Habersham has to offer, Carolina Crepes had a stand for a quick bite.
The event didn’t skimp on entertainment by hosting the 3rd annual Beaufort’s Got Talent show. Eight acts made up the event, four musical, four dance routines with an intermission from Beaufort’s own talented poet, Joy Patterson. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jamie Wildridge owner of Habersham’s The Green Room, and she was thrilled about the turnout, and couldn’t wait to get the night started and the talent ringing through the streets. The prizes were great – first place taking $50 with a performance slot in the 5th Annual Habersham Harvest Festival in October performing for over 2500+ people, 2nd place received a 30 minute recording session with Drysdale Entertainment at The Green Room and 3rd place received a group pizza party at Piace Pizza.
The competition was close but winners had to be chosen.  Guest judges included EatSleepPlayBeaufort’s own Megan Howe, along with a couple of others.
First place went to Eric Freeman, a rising senior currently studying at Studio B Dance Centre who aims to become a professional dancer – with moves to match!
I had the pleasure of speaking one on one with the 2nd place winner Jayde Vernoy and her father who is a fourth generation Beaufortonian currently relocated in Paraguay working as missionaries. Jayde has won first place in various talent competitions in Paraguay both national and international. A shy demeanor mixed with a grave intelligence, it was a true treat to speak with this 17 year old rising star.
Third place went to Caroline Seder, another student of Studio B.  Aside from the winners; everyone performed wonderfully and had a total blast!
If you didn’t make it to this First Friday, you missed out. If you’ve never visited the local beauty that is Habersham Marketplace, you are definitely missing out. In my opinion, there isn’t much in Beaufort quite like it, so head out for an afternoon and enjoy what Beaufort has to offer!

Photos courtesy of Eric R. Smith, and ESPB intern Susan Clark.