Grab some battery-operated strings of light, round up some tinsel, pop on a Santa hat and head to Tybee on Dec. 21.
Residents and visitors alike will see holiday blinged-out bikes weaving through the city streets for the seventh annual Tybee Island TourÃ© de Lights Bike Ride. Winning contestants get the honor of their name being carved into an old boat blade that has a permanent residence at AJ's Dockside restaurant, which is also the starting and finishing point of the event.
Elizabeth Johnson, owner of Tybee Island Charters and Tybee Island Clothing Company, shared how this unique event got its start.
"Every year, we would pick a night to decorate our bikes and go out to see everyone's homes decorated," she said. "We Tybee residents are a little bit crazy about decorating for the holidays! We loved this annual tradition, which my kids and I would do with their aunt, Jane Waters.
"When Aunt Waters passed away from MS, we wanted to keep the tradition going and sort of made it bigger and better."
The bigger and better equates to a full-blown parade and of course, the contest for best-decorated bike. Last year, a group of bikes decked out like Santa and his reindeer took the crown, with a group that recreated "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" hot on their heels, er, spokes.
Besides getting their name immortalized on the boat blade, Johnson donates gift certificates for both of her businesses to the winners. More importantly, the money raised is donated to Rising TYde, Tybee Island's community food pantry.
"After a few years, we decided we wanted to use the event to help give back, and last year, we had over 50 participants and were able to donate over $1,000 to our food bank," Johnson said.
She also offered a few decorating tips for interested folks.
"Your imagination is unlimited," she said. "We don't really have rules for the contest, so get creative! Last year, someone even brought along a generator."