The 22nd annual Beaufort Shrimp Festival begins on Friday, Sept. 30, 2016 and runs through Saturday with the usual celebration of the diminutive yet tasty crustacean. New this year is a rebranded 5K run, featuring an appearance by Forrest Gump, as well as a Saturday craft brew beer garden. Jay Karr The Island Packet
BY STEPHEN FASTENAU
There is sun in the forecast this weekend, and that has to come as a cautious relief for organizers of the Beaufort Shrimp Festival, scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Heavy rain washed out the event last October, and a special holiday edition festival was wrapped into a December weekend. Main Street Beaufort, which operates the festival, has since been brought under the umbrella of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The Beaufort Shrimp Festival is back in its normal slot, with live music, a bridge run, cooking competition and shrimp race highlighting the weekend in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park
Here is what you need to know if you go:
Run a 5K, earn a shrimp boat and a drink
Forrest Gump was filmed in Beaufort, as you might have heard. The Shrimp Festival pays homage with the Run, Forrest, Run 5K Bridge Run/Walk and even a popcorn shrimp run for the children on Saturday starting at 8 a.m.
The Gump-themed race course winds through downtown and crosses the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge. Participants can take their picture with a Forrest lookalike in Waterfront Park.
Replica shrimp boats will go to division winners and top three finishers. This year, beer and food samples will be passed out at the end of the race. The best Forrest Gump costume will also earn an award.
Online registration runs through Thursday and is available at www.runsignup.com. Race applications are also available on www.beaufortshrimpfestival.com.
After Thursday, participants must register at Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce at 701 Craven St. in Beaufort, or on race day at the start/finish line from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 a.m.
Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp
Eat shrimp, race shrimp, dehead shrimp, peel shrimp — the festival is all about Beaufort’s favorite local product.
Area restaurants will offer their own spin on shrimp dishes and will compete for prizes Saturday included Best Shrimp Dish and the Silver Cup.
The Sea Island Rotary Club’s annual charity shrimp race Saturday afternoon will include the chance for spectators to adopt one of 5,000 rubber shrimp that will be dropped in the Beaufort River and float to a designated finish line. The first 10 shrimp to cross will share $5,000 cash. The first 100 finishers will be entered in a drawing for a car or boat.
Also Saturday afternoon will be a shrimp de-heading competition for adults and a peeling competition for children. Prepare to eat well and get messy.
Admission is free. Just walk in the park. Once inside, tickets are sold for food, drink and children’s activities. Tickets are $1 each, and food and drink cost between two and 10 tickets.
Stephen Fastenau: 843-706-8182, @IPBG_Stephen
IF YOU GO
What: 22nd Beaufort Shrimp Festival.
When: Friday, starting at 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, Beaufort.
Cost: Admission is free. Tickets for food and drink cost $1 each and items cost between two and 10 tickets.
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