Despite New Rules, Squares Empty Overnight - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/17/07

Despite New Rules, Squares Empty Overnight

Most people just set up their chairs and left. Most people just set up their chairs and left.
When they arrived at 6am, they were ready to get everything set up for the parade. When they arrived at 6am, they were ready to get everything set up for the parade.

Saturday morning, the squares in Savannah looked more like the day after the parade than the morning of. The reason, some say, is the new rules.

This year the city decided to place restrictions on when people could enter the squares and what they could bring in. No one was allowed access until 3pm Friday and they could only mark their spots with tape and could only bring in chairs. No tents and no coolers were allowed in until 6am Saturday morning.

"I think they should let us put the tents back up because we had some people come through here and tear the tape down," said camper Al Solcem.

The city also said someone had to man the spot all night. If anyone left their spot, they would lose their area. Solcem, along with his friends, stayed out all night and even decided to help other people.

"We've had people that have asked us to watch their areas since we were sitting out," said Solcem.  

And he did, but he was just about the only one out there. Most people just set up their chairs and left.  No one took their belongings down and when they arrived at 6am, they were ready to get everything set up for the parade.

Trey Jenkins of Savannah is a pro at setting up. It's been a family tradition for the past six years. When he heard the rules, he was a little disappointed. "It tends to dampen things because you get use to doing things the same way for a long time and now that you can't do those things it's like change. You just don't want change," said Jenkins. 

Last year, Jenkins camped out for two days to reserve his family's spot.  He said luckily he was able to get his same spot this year, but he had to work for it.  "At 3pm they let everyone rush in. It was a mad dash across the street, hurdling over the tape. That was funny."

Jenkins, along with the other campers, said it's better to deal with the changes than not be allowed in the squares at all.

"As long as I live in Savannah I will be down here every year doing the camping out thing, as fast as they will let us," he said.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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