While some Florida Spring Break destinations such as Panama City, Destin, and Daytona Beach have achieved huge reputations, other communities have through various restrictions tended to discourage a sizeable number of hormone-stimulated college students from their post-Winter festivals.
Not so Oleander Beach. A few years ago the local Catholic Church sponsored a "Blessing of the Bikinis" ceremony (not strictly canonical) that drew a modest crowd. Modest, that is, in terms of numbers. Local businesses tried to add Bingo tournaments, but these did not go over very well with the early 20's crowd. (Apparently that dog was not popular among Northerners seeking tans before returning to the grind of academe.)
So the various members of the Oleander Beach Chamber of Commerce decided to re-tool A fact-finding group looked into what college visitors do in Spring Break destinations, and decided that, what the hell, it does bring in revenue. Several groups launched similar attractions.
For example, the Church of the Second Coming sponsored a wet t-shirt contest, and gave each participant a blue t-shirt top that was emblazoned with the message, "I am Heaven Bound. Wet T-Shirt Participant." Ultimately, the winner of the contest, as per the new tradition, afterwards lead the audience in singing the hymn, "How Great Thou Art." Participants were allowed to keep their tees afterwards; and most took them back to State U. after they were dried and subsequently worn on the campus as the days got warmer. That livened up the typical psych or sosh class.
The Methodists had their own contest: a combination of curling and a teeny weeny bikini contest. This was especially geared for the snowbirds from Canada who came in numbers to Oleander Beach. In the spirit of fun, Her Honor the Mayor also participated, giving her City Council something to think of. (Was she secretly a Canadian?)
Finally, the Men's Club sponsored a Belly Flop Contest at a motel's swimming pool. This was well-attended. Not a flop at all.
Oleander Beach sponsored a beach volleyball team; and would regularly play nearby teams from Alabama Beach, Sea Nettles Beach, and Pirate's Cove. They looked trim in their fine uniforms with the initials "O B" on both the front and back.. That was all the letters their uniforms had space for.
Several package stores increased the size of their beer coolers. And the City Council did allow beer on the beach, provided the cans were properly stowed in convenient trash bins. Several fire pits gave the visitors places to congregate and have beach fires, if desired. Of course, firewood was sold at a premium.
Of course, in any Spring Break location, some visitors might get out of hand and be arrested. The local Oleander Beach hoosegow gave small fines to their clientele, and required them either to sit on benches in the separate but equal men's and women's time-out rooms, or to pick up trash on the beach. Yes Sir, Yes Sir, three bags full. The local jail might suggest to those who haven't seen it to be a place with stone walls and bars on the window; actually the two holding "cells" were more like a doctor's office waiting room, complete with out-of-date magazines but no CNN. The local attorney opinioned that subjecting prisoners to CNN involuntarily would be cruel and unusual punishment.
The jail also sold t-shirts with the message, "Property of Oleander Beach Jail." These were extremely popular with Ohioans and Indianans who wished to be seen as having a wild and wooly Spring Break. Image is important with young adults.
As a matter of fact, the fact-finding committee observed that it was de rigeur for t-shirts to be available to attest to rowdy activities. The staid old t-shirts having only the name "Oleander Beach" or perhaps a sports fish just did not have the proper souvenir punch! One savvy t-shirt silk screener even came out with a line of different-hued tees with cryptic messages such as "34B," "36C," "38DD," or other choices.
University students stopped being subtle in 2007.
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