Beach Bum Parade organizers nix plans for scaled-back celebration

Local News

FILE – Annual Beach Bum Parade on Tybee Island

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s been two years since the Beach Bum Parade took place on Tybee Island.

On what would’ve been the 35th parade day, organizers planned a scaled-back celebration. A modest group of “die-hard bums” would meet at the North Beach parking lot Friday evening and take the caravan on the usual parade route, just without the usual fanfare.

But due to permitting concerns, even the “mock parade” has been nixed.

Parade organizer Jack Boylston posted a letter he received from Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen on Thursday, which laid out the consequences for holding a “special event” without a permit.

“This really got out of hand as all I wanted to do is meet at North Beach, ride the route blowing horns, waving and go home. Much like some high school graduation activities occurred last spring in the area,” Boylston shared on Facebook.

He said in recent months, he inquired about permit options but was told no events would be permitted in the city until later in the year.

“This was not in any way to be an organized event which would need city services,” Boylston said. “Just a simple activity that got too much publicity.”

WSAV News 3 spoke with Gillen earlier in the week. At the time, he said the Tybee Island Police Department would be bringing in extra personnel to help keep everyone safe.

He provided the following statement Friday:

Due to extensive promotion on social media and traditional media it has now become a pop up event. I am following the ordinance and informing the organizer of the consequences of holding an unpermitted event.

Tybee Island City Manager Shawn Gillen

Boylston shared on Facebook that he will not be touring Tybee Friday and suggests others do the same.

“I am not going to take a chance of being charged with criminal and civil liability and/or money damages of ordinance violations,” he wrote, adding that he wouldn’t want to endanger next year’s parade.

The Beach Bum Parade typically falls on the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. As for future plans, Boylston said the bums will see you in 2022.

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