May is the month to visit Tybee Island if you want to join in a giant water fight! This free fun event includes a lively parade through the streets. Arm yourself with plenty of water, bazookas, shooters, squirt guns and other water-throwing equipment and make sure you give those parade float riders as good a soaking as they dish out!
The History of the Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade
Known as Savannah’s beach, Tybee Island attracts families and visitors of all ages to its sandy beaches and quaint town. However, mid-May is the most popular time for those families and Tybee visitors who have the Beach Bum Parade marked on their calendars from one year to the next. Come hell or high water, they wouldn’t miss the event for anything.
The Beach Bum Parade has been a local annual event since it began in 1987. It usually takes place on the third Friday evening in May and the parade starts at 6.30pm. The first ever Beach Bum Parade took place when the local Beach Bums softball team beat their arch enemies Pier One and celebrated with a massive water fight. Although the softball game has since been abandoned, the wet and wild fun continues.
Like other regular parades, the Beach Bum Parade on Tybee Island has plenty of decorated floats and marchers, but they are all armed with water pistols and even fully loaded squirt guns. Instead of dishing out candy and necklaces, the paraders declare war and give the waiting spectators a good soaking in this Tybee Island tradition. Fortunately this “battle” has no losers, only winners who join in the fun in the spirit intended and have a whale of a time.
It seems the motto of the waiting spectators lining Butler Avenue is: if you can’t beat them, join them! Visitors line the streets of the old town and are equally well stocked with ammunition of a liquid kind. It provides harmless fun for all the family and squeals of delight go on throughout the duration of the colorful parade. Teams quickly form to provide a formidable wall of water jets, so be warned and be ready!
Fortunately, the warm temperatures of Tybee Island in May mean that everyone dries off before returning to their vacation home or car.
Rules of Play for the Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade
The Beach Bum Parade is one event you definitely need to dress down for. Shorts, sandals, t-shirts or even beach wear are the most sensible dress; in fact, wear anything that you don’t mind getting wet. Make sure you put non-waterproof valuables, such as cameras, into a plastic bag along with towels for the mop up later.
Squirt guns are welcome – the bigger the better – but water balloons, buckets and pressure washers are prohibited for safety reasons. Ice and iced water is also considered out of bounds.
Participants can target parade floats and other onlookers but are not allowed to hit police officers or fire inside homes or cars. Basically, to ensure this traditional event remains harmless fun, everyone is asked to use common sense.
Of course this May weekend is always extremely popular and accommodations do get booked up early. Make sure of your spot at the next Beach Bum Parade by booking your Tybee Island vacation home rental early. See you there!
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