Popular Georgia beach town overrun by 'Orange Crush' fighting, chaos, video shows

Popular Georgia beach town overrun by 'Orange Crush' fighting, chaos, video shows

Georgia's Tybee Island was packed with co-ed party seekers during the annual Orange Crush Festival, where videos of wild brawls went viral on social media.

Several women were seen throwing haymakers, ripping hair extensions off and wrestling on the pier as their tops fell off in a video shared with Fox News Digital.

Hoards of onlookers egged on the fighters while recording the melees. The two-plus minute video also caught glimpses of piles of litter scattered along the beach and women twerking.

Tybee Island police said they're still sorting through voluminous records from the past week and will update their weekly incident report and arrests.

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Two women throwing punches during a brawl during Orange Crush in Georgia.
Two women throwing punches during a brawl during Orange Crush in Georgia.

The small police department and city - with a population of about 3,000 - had their hands full over the weekend.

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Tens of thousands of students and alum of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) overran Peach State city for a spring break-like jamboree.

Numbers for this year aren't currently available, as of Monday afternoon, but last year an estimated 40,000 to 55,000 co-ed revelers flocked to the three-square-mile island.

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Many of the co-ed revelers didn't cause any trouble, but videos, like the one X user SHO'NUFF shared with Fox News Digital showed some instances where the crowds became unruly.

What sparked the fight in the video, or if any people were arrested or issued summons, is unclear as police continue to sort through the weekend's records.

Two women fighting during Orange Crush on Tybee Island in Georgia
Two women fighting during Orange Crush on Tybee Island in Georgia.

WATCH FULL VIDEO OF FIGHT

The Orange Crush Festival is an annual event that started in the late 1980s for HBCU students and alum in Jacksonville, but moved to Tybee Island a couple of years ago.

Last year, an estimated 40,000 to 55,000 attendees visited the area for a weekend of parties, drinking and fun, which at times, escalated to criminal activity, including a road rage shooting, which drew the ire of NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe (seen below).

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"Despite the brawl, The Orange Crush beach party is rooted in celebrating the student culture of Savannah State University and the Southeast’s other historically Black colleges and universities," X user SHO'NUFF told Fox News Digital. "Many are even calling it the new Freaknik."

Freaknik has a controversial history that started as a picnic for HBCU students and alum in the early '80s in Atlanta to celebrate the start of spring, but its humble beginning boomed into its own movement, with hundreds of thousands of students flooding the city.

"Freaknick" was officially banned in 2010 because of high crime rates, and its history now part of a Hulu documentary.

Tybee Island Police Chief Tiffanty Hayes seemingly backed the X user's sentiment about the event when she called this weekend a "success" in a Facebook post.

"This past weekend, churches, businesses and individuals rallied around our team to provide meals, snacks and drinks, and lodging, all of which greatly contributed to our success," Chief Hayes said.

"As we move towards the future, we look forward to working with our residents and guests to continue to make Tyebee a safer place to live, work and play."

Tybee Island Police Chief Tiffanty Hayes said it was a "successful" weekend in a statement on Facebook.
Tybee Island Police Chief Tiffanty Hayes said it was a "successful" weekend in a statement on Facebook.

In the early 1990s, Orange Crush had a reputation for being a wild, crime-filled weekend, and Savannah State University disassociated with the event in 1991 because of the high number of arrests and reports of violence.

Two years ago, the event moved to Jacksonville, Florida, "due to lack of resources, limited parking, civil rights violations and political injustices," according to a June 2021 story on Jacksonville.com, which cited the event's website. The website has since been taken down.

The event returned to Tybee Island this past weekend for the first time since 2020.

Fox News Digital's Bonny Chu contributed to this report. 


Original article source: Popular Georgia beach town overrun by 'Orange Crush' fighting, chaos, video shows