Snow Day in April: Something in the Water

by Kerry Dougherty

When the first Something in the Water Festival came to Virginia Beach in 2019, some lemon-sucking locals balked at allowing school buses to be used to transport revelers  from satellite parking to the resort area.

How will bus drivers be able to drive festival goers until 11 p.m. on Sunday and be rested enough by Monday morning to safely transport kids, they fretted.

As if bus drivers were toddlers who need 10 hours of sleep.

What if the festival goers leave their drugs or guns on the buses and the kids find them on Monday morning? whispered others.


I was an enthusiastic supporter of SITW. Here’s what I wrote at the time:

Officials announced last week that the organizers are paying $350,000 for city school buses to shuttle festival goers from satellite parking to the resort area. An excellent way to manage traffic. But some locals are unhappy, insisting that school buses have one purpose: to transport kids.


Those buses belong to the taxpayers. They should be put to use any time the city needs to move a lot of people.

As it turned out, the school bus plan worked splendidly. Chronically underpaid bus drivers had a chance to make some extra money. And their weekend passengers? Better behaved than their usual rambunctious cargo.

I attended the 2019 inaugural SITW and I enjoyed the music and more importantly, the atmosphere. I support this one, too, although I could have done without Pharrell’s “toxic” comments about the city several years ago and the behind-the-scenes machinations that went on to convince him to bring the music festival back.

Nevertheless, Something in the Water IS back and the school board vote to use buses to move ticket holders was unanimous.

Just one question lingered: What would happen on Friday afternoon regarding school transport and traffic?

That problem was solved quickly too. Beach school officials announced yesterday that on Friday, April 28 there will be early dismissal from all public schools and all after-school activities are cancelled.


The kids didn’t get a single snow day this year. They can thank Pharrell Williams for this one.

Republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed and Unedited.