Lovely Last Night…the Commodore’s Ball

By Cindy Reid |  Balmy breezes, smiling faces, happy greetings to friends old and new. Beach music. The Commodore’s Ball and the final night of the Beaufort Water Festival. Held at  Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, on the beautiful Beaufort River, it as they say, “Just doesn’t get any better than this”.

Beach music is a Carolina tradition, a combination of oldies and classics, music that you can shag (the official dance of South Carolina) to, or if you are like me, music you can just dance to. The music tonight was provided by the Melody Makers, and then the Headliners, and both groups kept the crowd on their feet all night.

The main act, the Headliners, kicked it off with “I Love Beach Music” and spontaneous shagging broke out everywhere, including where we were standing, as there was no time to get to the dance floor! After the first number, this year’s Beaufort Water Festival Commodore John Gentry introduced next year’s Commodore, Dan Thompson. And, as tradition dictates, the new Commodore and First Lady Bonnie Thompson came onstage and danced “their song”, which in this case was “Have I Told You Lately”.

 A lovely tradition and a lovely moment.

Speaking of lovely, I have to mention all the pretty ladies who were out last night. One of the nicest things about living in the south is how people still take care of their appearance and actually “dress up” for community events. Soft summer dresses were worn by ladies age 6 to 60 plus. And the men had on their best fishing shirts, complete with ‘boat tans” and sunglasses around their necks. It does a heart good to see people looking so nice.

Back to the music. The Headliners are fantastic entertainers; they don’t even seem to breathe between numbers. Hits from K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Barry White, and too many more to mention, were performed as if for the first time. And on a personal note, I got my annual Commodore’s Ball dance in, and as Kip and I danced to Etta James’s “At Last”, I looked around and saw all the other couples young and old enjoying the last night too.

And it was indeed a lovely night.









For hundreds of great photos from the 57th Annual Beaufort Water Festival, visit our Water Festival Photo Gallery.  For information about the Beaufort Water Festival, please visit