For the ninth consecutive year, Tybee Island is transforming the Ocean Front/Tybrisa parking lot into the closest thing Chatham County has to a good ol' county fair. The Tybee Pirate Fest may be a little long on cheap eyepatches and plastic swords, and beery locals yelling "Arrrr" a few times too many, but the cheese factor is kinda part of the fun.
And fun it is.
The kids' area has a small ferris wheel, and a couple of bounce houses, and a petting zoo and other stuff. During daylight hours, it's the only place to be if you're little.
The Saturday-afternoon parade (starting at 3) is kid-friendly too —that is, if the attendant beer-drinkers are behaving themselves — because the "pirates" on the floats throw beads, coins and the like.
And you know how much little kids like that sort of thing.
Last year's musical headliner — strictly for the grownups — was Motley Crue vocalist Vince Neil and his band. For 2013, Pirate Fest organizers have booked alt-country performer Shooter Jennings, whose father was the legendary country music "outlaw" Waylon Jennings. His latest album, The Other Life, features contributions from Texan Scott H. Biram (a longtime Savannah favorite) and Jim Dandy of Black Oak Arkansas.
There's also a Journey tribute band ("Departure") and a band that does nothing but Jimmy Buffett songs ("A1A"). It's party time, if that sort of thing floats your boat.
Stages will also feature some local bands, including Bottles & Cans, Lyn Avenue, Domino Effect, the Chuck Courtenay Band and others.
Did we mention the pier fireworks Friday and Saturday night?