Beaufort celebrates 300 year anniversary with Marine Corps Band and birthday cake

The Marine Corps Band performs

S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, presents Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling with a resolution passed by the State Senate recognizing the city's 300th birthday.

For a town that has weathered 300 years of floods and fires and fighting, a little rainstorm wasn’t going to dampen Monday’s celebration of Beaufort’s Tricentennial.

Showers that started around noon on Monday forced organizers to move the birthday party from the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park to the University of South Carolina-Beaufort Performing Arts Center about a half-mile away.

The event featured the Parris Island Marine Corps Band playing a hour’s worth of traditional marching tunes and patriotic songs, capped by the audience sing-along of ‘Happy Birthday.’ State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, presented a resolution passed by the State Senate recognizing Beaufort’s 300th birthday.

“This is a great town we live in,” Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. “It’s one of the most special places in the world. It’s certainly the most special place in my world.”

After opening comments, the National Anthem sung by Olivia Durbin and invocation by the Rt. Rev. Alden Hathaway, bishop in residence at the Parish Church of St. Helena, Keyserling read the list of first contributors to the Beaufort 300 fundraiser.

1For a $300 investment in Beaufort’s future, donors’ names will be featured on a permanent historical monument in the Waterfront Park. Corporate sponsorships also are available. For more information and to sign-up for Beaufort 300, visit

Beaufort was founded in 1711 by the English, although its beginnings date back to Spanish explorers in 1514. Beaufort was named for Englishman Henry Somerset, Duke of Beaufort (1684-1714), one of the Lords Proprietors of Carolina. It was on Jan. 17, 1711, that Beaufort’s formal charter was created.

Immediately following the booming chorus of ‘Happy Birthday to Beaufort,’ it was time for cake – Tricentennial cupcakes baked by Southern Graces.

Other events are planned throughout the year to recognize the historic milestone of 300 years, including a City-sponsored historical parade on Sept. 17. Regularly-occurring festivals and events such as homes tours, the Gullah Festival, Water Festival and Shrimp Festival, also will involve Tricentennial themes.

For more information and updates, join Beaufort Tricentennial on Facebook or visit


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