Tybee Island 4th of July crowds smaller than expected


TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Tybee Island officials were expecting around 60,000 people on the island for the 4th of July, but the City Manager said the crowds did not meet their expectations.

“The crowds were still pretty heavy so the beach was pretty crowded. I think pretty much every rental on the island was booked out,” Shawn Gillen, the City Manager, said.

Gillen said Friday was the busiest day on the island, and although Tybee Island was crowded for the 4th, Gillen said the numbers were not their biggest issue.

“We wrote a lot of glass on the beach tickets, they wrote a lot of dogs on the beach tickets, they did break up a huge crowd around 10th Street of teenagers who were drinking. There was actually about four or five kids who got arrested for that,” Gillen added.

Gillen said although the city is worried about their COVID-19 case numbers, he said they are trying to be proactive.

“So the thing that we’re going to be doing that I know, they’re going to be talking about mask wearing and things like that. We’re looking at purchasing some masks, giving them to businesses. Maybe having them here down by the pier to hand out to folks if they want one,” Gillen stated.

Carole Ann Walter said spending the 4th with her family was more than just taking a trip to the beach. Heading down to Tybee Island, from Lancaster Pennsylvania, she said it’s worth having to quarantine for two weeks when she gets home just so she could spend time with her family.

“When I think of where I was last year just about this time, it is a difference, it’s a difference. 18 hours on the ventilator trying to get off of that thing, waking up being tied down in bed because I was flailing around trying to pull everyone and everything in sight,” Walter said.

Dixie Colvin who is a nurse and takes care of Walter, said they needed this time––especially since Walter has spent months recovering from open heart surgery.

“Not everyone is doing it up and messing it up in crowds in restaurants you know we stuck with family,” Colvin said

“To be with who you love, can’t beat it,” Walter said as she held back emotions as Colvin added: “In 12 days she has her one year anniversary for open heart surgery so this was big thing for her to walk down to the beach with us and the waves crash.”

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