Patrons ready to kick off 30th Annual Beach Bum Parade - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Patrons ready to kick off 30th Annual Beach Bum Parade

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Folks on Tybee Island are loading their water guns as they gear up for the annual Beach Bum Parade.

It’s the 30th year for the Beach Bum Parade, but long-time attendees may notice things look a little different this year.

Police are placing an extra emphasis on safety this year. Arrests and citations have increased in the past few years, so a couple of rule changes were made this year.

For example, parade goers are not allowed to use water balloons, ice water, or pressure washers and people who are in the parade must stay in their float. Plus, anyone who squirts a police officer will be arrested.

The parade is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m., with the route running along Butler Avenue.

Parade organizers have been concerned about the future of the parade because of how much it's grown and given the increase in arrests in citations in the past few years. Tybee Island Police say this is just part of adapting to the challenges as the event draws more people to the area each year.

"When the parade started off, it was a very small local event. It's only grown since then over the course of 30-some-odd years. There's a lot of things that have become implemented since then. People have started to carry ice water, water balloons. It caused a whole host of problems - fights, what have you - and we're just trying to cut back on some of that,” said Tybee Island Police Department Lt. Emory Randolph.

The department has brought in a few extra officers and volunteers for Friday's event. Plus, officers will be lining the parade route, just to make sure everyone is on their best behavior.

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