Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Beach Bum Parade


After seeing the beach and climbing the lighthouse, it was time to shift gears a bit.  By chance we had arrived in Tybee in time to enjoy a Friday evening Parade.  Called the Beach Bum Parade, it marks the beginning of the summer tourist season.  My first taste of this upcoming parade downtown occurred as I was getting gas and a couple people tried squirting me with water from homemade PVC pipe water cannons.

The Beach Bum Parade is actually a city government sanctioned water fight.  All along the parade route people are camped out with their squirt guns, hoses, and anything else that can propel water any distance.  There are water stations along the route for people to replenish their ammo.  And the parade itself is a long line of trucks, pirate ship floats, camouflaged palm tree rolling stock and you name it, with people ready willing and able to squirt the fine Tybee folks along the route.  

The following pictures tell the story without too much elaboration on my part.  




This fellow in the center with the yellow shirt, being contorted by others, actually fell off a float and was inches from being run over.  This is not an activity for the faint of heart.  This is real, hard, balls-all-in, water battles.    














We were safely in a corner bar but would grab our iPhones and venture out to take pictures.  Yeah, it was dangerous, and I was ready to tuck my phone in my pocket at the slightest cross-eye squirt from my neighbors on the sidewalk or the combatants in the parade. 

One dumb-ass close by was bitching because he got wet and his phone camera might have been jeopardized.  Well, man, look around.  This isn't a parade - it's like a third world battle with participants who have run out of shell ammo.  There were ambushes, frontal assaults, hell, one kid took his water gun and slammed it over the head of someone trying to steal some water. 

As I understand it, there is one rule only:  squirt a cop and you go to jail. 

It was fun.  The beer was cold, the conversation scintillating, the streets were running with water, and the bar was deliciously atmospheric and a little bit smoky (which I liked, it took me back).


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