MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Friday marked the start of the Memorial Day weekend and the party has begun on Miami Beach.
“The crowd now is crazy. I can see that everyone just wants to hang out. I do not see any people at home. It is just mind-blowing out here,” said Texas tourist Rishab Basutkar.READ MORE: South Florida Star MMA Fighter Jorge Masvidal Delivers Father’s Day Gifts To 30 Fans
On Friday, while plenty came to soak up the sun, many say they have traveled miles to party on the strip of Ocean Drive.
“We are partying…ha, ha, ha,” said Taylor Henny, a tourist from Mississippi.
“We are looking for good times. Good times. Every day, I’ll be here till sundown, ” said Tiffany Carter of Mississippi.
The rowdiness and violent crimes recently caused national attention during spring break, where Miami Beach had its share of unruly crowds, partying on Ocean Drive.
On Friday night, the Ocean Drive strip is packed with large crowds, but there hasn’t been any chaos.READ MORE: Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Of The Seas Leaves PortMiami For First Simulated Sailing
There was a heavy police presence, as police continue to patrol the beaches and the streets.
“What you are seeing is a lot of patrols. It’s the increased staffing we have in place, strategic placement of our officers. We have 400 officers working from Miami Beach and additional officers from outside agencies,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, Miami Beach Police Spokesman.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber says enjoy yourself, but keep in mind safety comes first.
“We are not allowed to have these vaccination passports by law. So, we are hoping people follow the rules,” said Gelber.
On Friday, others still decided to take their fun to Fort Lauderdale beach, which was not as crowded.
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“We knew it would be a little calmer than South Beach.”