Financial, safety concerns mark local summer event cancellations

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Water fights, pirate ships and fire engines are just a few of the defining moments of Tybee’s annual Beach Bum Parade.

“You know, people get very creative, but it’s a water fight all the way down the street, and we’ve tried to keep it safe through the years,” said Jack Boylston, parade organizer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced Beach Bum and several other beloved summer events in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry to cancel. Organizers say it’s simply too hard to host a fun, family festival while maintaining social distancing.

Another reason: the financial hit to local businesses.

“We really needed to go ahead and cancel it, because our sponsors that we’ve had through the years have suffered very much hardship,” Boylston explained.

That’s also one of the reasons Brooklet canceled its annual Peanut Festival.

“Our main income is sponsorhips,” said Randy Newman, of the Peanut Festival. “We do not charge an entry fee to get into our festival.”

He added: “Small businesses are hurting right now, so it’s hard for them to justify donating anything to a festival right now.”

Canceling wasn’t any easy decision for any local organizers, including those at the Beaufort Water Festival and Fourth of July celebrations.

Traditions may be on hold this year — but each festival organizer News 3 spoke with Thursday says they intend to be back next summer.

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