Get Ready for 120 Years of Tybee - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/14/07

Get Ready for 120 Years of Tybee

The lighthouse: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam. The lighthouse: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam.
The pier: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam. The pier: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam.
The beach: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam. The beach: Image taken from the WTOC Tybee Skycam.

Next weekend, Tybee Island will celebrate its 120th anniversary with a two-day event starting on October 20. We sat down with Denise Vernon with Celebrate Tybee to talk about the event, festivities and activities planned for Tybee's birthday.

"Everyone knows about the beach, but what we're trying to do is highlight the other things Tybee has to offer," explained Vernon. The celebration will center around Tybee's history and cultural heritage, with period costumes, music and games from 1887.

"The whole celebration came about from a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts and the goal of that grant, which was also matched by the City of Tybee Island [was]...to have more cultural-heritage-type events," Vernon told us. "And the timing worked out perfectly too, being that we liked the sound of, 'a dozen decades' of cultural heritage."

But that's not all this anniversary has to offer. Food will be a main event next weekend with the Georgia Shrimpers Association providing locally caught shrimp for everyone to enjoy. The Marine Rescue Squadron will be having a Low Country boil and many local restaurants will be featuring special dishes.

Vernon says having local food in the festival helps support a local industry, something she wants to see more of on Tybee.

And there'll be lots to learn next weekend as well, with plenty of marine and wildlife exhibits on display. "I think a lot of the activities are geared towards families and children, a lot of educational activities, they'll be a touch tank called the Sea Circus in Memorial Park," said Vernon. "The DNR has something called an Ark and that's a whole exhibit about the coast."

The research vessel from the Georgia Marine Extension Service will also be docked at Lazaretto Creek on Saturday offering free tours of the ship.

And as part of the anniversary, 120 trees given to the island by the Savannah Tree Foundation will be planted on Tybee over the next two weekends. "The Savannah Tree Foundation received a grant, one of 12 in the nation," said Vernon. "On Saturday in Memorial Park at 4:30, we're going to have the planting of the memorial trees, a little cluster of live oak trees."

The remaining trees will be planted on October 27 between 9am and noon. For information about the Tybee Island tree planting, visit, http://www.savannahtreefoundation.com/.

Vernon says the two-day Tybee celebration will have four main hubs:

"Memorial Park being the central location, then around the pier and on the beach, Lazaretto Creek and then the lighthouse is having a free jazz concert, courtesy of the historical society, and that's the Skylight Jazz Band from the Savannah Arts Academy," she said.

A shuttle will run between Memorial Park and the other locations throughout the day, and parking will be free island-wide all weekend long.

"This is about music, history, art, local cuisine, things we should really be proud of," said Vernon.

The 120 years of Tybee celebration kicks off Saturday, October 20 at 9am with a pancake breakfast at St. Michael's. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit http://www.celebratetybee.org/index.html.

Reported by: Sarah Schuster, sschuster@wtoc.com

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