Do Savannnah

Get ready to get soaked at Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade

  • Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade (Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade (Savannah Morning News file photo)
  • Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade (Savannah Morning News file photo)
 

Get ready to get soaked at Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade

15 May 2017

It’s a Tybee tradition that marks the “last locals’ weekend.”

The Tybee Beach Bum Parade returns at 6:30 p.m. May 19, kicking off at the North Beach Grill parking lot and going along the Butler Avenue parade route.

The parade will be led by this year’s Queen Mary “Boo” Pezan, Grand Marshal Henry Schroder and Big Kahuna Chuck Bargeron. They were all crowned at a ceremony May 10.

The event is free and open to all, and parade organizer Jack Boylston wants to remind everyone that it’s the 31st anniversary of this festive event — but there are rules to keep it safe.

“We started the new rules last year and it went great,” he says.

So, the new rules go like this:

• No parking on Butler Avenue on parade day.

• No water balloons.

• No pressure washers (people in the past have actually shown up with these).

• No ice water.

• Don’t run in the street.

Basically, just don’t be a jerk so everyone — especially the children — can have a great time.

And don’t squirt water on the parade marshals or law enforcement, unless you enjoy riding in the back seat of a police cruiser and posing for booking photos.

Otherwise, go wild. Grab your water guns and wear something you don’t mind getting wet. Because this parade is all about getting wet and having fun.

Boylston says the playful nature of the parade is what makes it truly one-of-a-kind.

“No one else in the world has a parade like the Beach Bum, where it is all water,” he says. “… I think it’s healthy for the island because it truly represents what living on Tybee is all about.”

Boylston and his fellow Desoto Beach Bum Softball Team founded this event 31 years ago, and while it started as simply a way to have fun, they have turned it into a way to also help the community by forming a parade committee that is active in Tybee.

“We use the T-shirt sales to go into a fund that we use to help out people in our community that are in need,” he says. “This year we have about 25-30 sponsors and they are helping us sell the shirts and build up our ‘war chest,’ because we want to continue to help people in need on our island.”

As for the Friday night date, Boylston says people always ask why it doesn’t take place on a Saturday afternoon.

He laughs. “Because this is Tybee and who wants to be standing around on a hot Saturday afternoon? You get off work, go hit up happy hour and then go down for the parade. It’s better that way.”

IF YOU GO

What: Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade

When: 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 19

Where: Butler Avenue parade route

Cost: Free

Info: Tybee Beach Bum Parade Facebook page

Sections: 
Top