Tybee loves parades. Especially, the Beach Bum Parade, the one that commemorates (in a commiserating sense for us locals) the start of the tourist season. It’s held the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend.
It’s a water fight. Plain and simple.
And you have to experience it to get it.
The crowds lines Butler Avenue (Highway 80 along the beach) with large buckets, in many cases trash dumpsters, full of water. Most have water soakers and water cannons. They await not so patiently the parade of floats, little more than pickups and flatbeds loaded down with buckets and dumpsters full of water and folks carrying water soakers and cannons.
Soaking commences at 6:30, though some skirmishes breakout among the bystanders who can’t stand having a loaded water gun without drenching somebody.
It’s a free for all. They soak you. You soak them. You soak each other. Everyone gets wet. Completely wet.
Two rules: no ice water and no shooting the cops.
Crazy. Fun. Silly.
I was without weapon. So I used the next best thing: my fingers as pistols. I would shoot into the flatbeds, whose drenched occupants would look strangely at the unarmed man pointing his cocked fingers at them right before unloading on me.
I returned “fire” with the exclamation: “You’re dead. I win,” which my daughter and her friend thought hilarious. Which of course then became a mantra for the rest of the day of being silly.
That night, Julia and her friend Maria left the traditional dollar bill on Huc-a-poos bar with the inscription: “You’re dead. I win.”