Hundreds of boats gather off Daniel Island for music, brews at Aquapalooza
DANIEL ISLAND — It was a BYOB kind of affair here on the Wando River Saturday.
Bring your own boat, that is.
That’s not to say that Aquapalooza, the annual music festival and on-the-water party, wanted for beverages, though.
Under fair, partly cloudy skies, hundreds of boats congregated near the Daniel Island pier. Some had come as early as 9:30 a.m. to scope out prime anchorages, said Jim McClellan, general manager of Charleston’s Sea-Ray dealer, which sponsored the gathering.
The music began at noon, and those early birds and others were serenaded by local Southern rock groups and a deejay who jumped between Michael Jackson hits, warbling dubstep remixes and at least one mash-up crossing U2 with rapper Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones.”
The crowd was ready to party, cheering as tracks began — dancing along atop their boats or just jumping from them.
Some bore American flags, others black skull-and-crossbones. Another displayed a huge, inflatable bottle of Corona.
They were joined by Charleston police officers, who meandered through the river on personal watercraft and a boat of their own, though spokesman Charles Francis said that he wasn’t aware of any tickets or arrests Saturday afternoon.
The festival is one of about 40 hosted by Sea-Ray dealerships around the country, and while Charleston’s iterations have grown and moved since they began five years ago, the idea hasn’t, McClellan said.
It’s about promoting life on the water, he said, and about having a good time.
This year’s festival attracted 400 to 500 boats, up from around 300 last year, and McClellan said he’d like to see it grow further.
“Hopefully everybody keeps good sense about things, nobody gets hurt and all those kinds of things,” he said. “We’ll just keep growing it if we can.”
Reach Thad Moore at 958-7360 or on Twitter @thadmoore.