FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – As beach days go, it could not have been anymore perfect with sun, wind and waves. What you did not see much of were floats.
All over social media this weekend, people were urged to turn up for a “Floatopia” on Hollywood beach and Fort Lauderdale Beach.
In response, the police departments from both cities let it be known they would not tolerate any beachside shenanigans on Memorial Day.
On the Hollywood Police Department’s Facebook page, they pointed out that any special event must have a permit from the city. Since none were issued for this event, they would go after those responsible.
“No event permit is in place. If a special event occurs without approval from the City, the Police Department may take appropriate enforcement action, including the assessment of monetary penalties against event organizers and participants. Additionally, all City enforcement officers will be strictly enforcing all beach regulations.”
Ft. Lauderdale police took to Twitter to issue their warning.
CBS4 spoke to two teenagers who saw the messages and arrived at Fort Lauderdale beach expecting to see an epic inner tube party on Monday.
“We thought it sounded fun” said Love Julien.
Beachgoer Tiandra Johnson was happy the event didn’t happen.
“I’m glad they nipped it in the bud because you don’t want to disturb nature. You don’t want to endanger the turtles, the animals, whatever we have,” said Johnson.
Last month, thousands of beachgoers descended on South Beach for a “Floatopia” – a social media-inspired party.
It was not a city-sanctioned event but it was on the city’s radar.
“The city had a plan in place, and it worked to some extent. The problem is when you’re expecting 25,000 people and you get 100,000 people there’s only so much you can do,” City Commissioner Michael Grieco told CBS4 at the time.
When the party was over, the massive clean up began.
Mounds of trash, abandoned floats and inflatables littered the beach.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine was so outraged by the aftermath that he called for an end to this type of event in the city. He also wants a blue ribbon committee to come up with a better plan for major events on the beach.
“To make sure that not only is the city prepared, but that we can stop these types of events and not even allow them to come,” he said.
One of the big events the mayor says needs to be re-examined is the already approved Air and Sea Show, scheduled for next year over the normally very busy Memorial Day weekend.