St. Pete Beach float party raising concerns

Posted at 11:23 PM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-21 23:23:12-04

There are growing concerns about a planned float party on St. Pete Beach, set for noon Sunday.  Now, community advocates are organizing efforts in hopes of keeping the beach clean and safe.

Johnny Scardino and his family love coming to St. Pete Beach.  After hearing about the giant party set to float on shore Sunday, they rearranged their plans to come before the invasion.  He's worried about the precedent this kind of party might set, especially since he owns rental units in the area.

"This has always been a peaceful beach and not known as a party beach.  So we've always enjoyed coming out here with the kids.  We don't want it to become a party beach," said Scardino.

Local rapper Forgiato Blow is putting on the "Blue Wave" float party without city permits.  But he insists he doesn't want trouble.

"You can't think you're just coming out here to do whatever you want.  It's on you.  The police are going to take you to jail.  So I want everyone to come out here and do the right thing," he said.

But many local residents are still concerned.  Since word about the float party's gotten out on social media, it's now estimated over 20,000 people might show up.  And if the party is that big, resident Holly Crawford just hopes they don't disturb nesting birds and turtles.

"I'm not against anyone having a party.  I just want people to respect our environment," she said.

Local residents are planning to line their boats along the buoys, hoping to keep party goers at bay.  Local hotels are increasing security, and there are extra trash cans set up on the beach to control litter.

In case things do get messy, community advocates are planning to host a beach clean up Monday morning.