Smaller crowds than expected
As Memorial Day weekend continues, thousands of revelers have been making the most of the opportunity to head for Florida's beaches.
As Americans take the weekend to remember and honor those who have fought for and defended their freedom, many are heading to South Beach, Miami Beach and other popular destinations to party and to celebrate with friends.
In Miami Beach, there were reports of large crowds gathering to celebrate. These were far smaller than seen in previous years though, and certainly much smaller than were witnessed during spring break when an estimated 570,000 people flocked to the state's beaches to celebrate.
More police on duty
In order to prevent outbreaks of disorder, the numbers of police on patrol have been increased, and many of these are deliberately making themselves more visible so they can be found by those who need help, and in order to act as a deterrent to criminals too.
A number of county officials have also been drafted in to act as a liaison between the public and the police in Miami Beach. Ernesto Rodriguez of the Miami Beach PD described the role of these officials:
“You’re out here with bright pink shirts and they serve as a liaison between law enforcement in the community to remind folks with the rules are.”
So far it seems that people have been celebrating and enjoying themselves without any significant disruption or disorder.
Concerns over litter
As much as the fear of riots breaking out, as was seen during spring break of 2021, Florida's residents will be rightly concerned that those visiting the beaches to party should clear up after themselves, not leaving the beaches covered with litter.
The state's beautiful beaches frequently get left strewn with garbage after big parties and spring break this year saw many such instances - drinks cans and bottles, food wrappers and other trash is left by thoughtless revellers who can't be bothered to take their own waste away with them.
The cost, both to environment and in paying for the cleaning operation after Memorial Day weekend are expected to be significant.
Various cities and counties are organizing extra overnight cleaning crews to work over the holiday weekend, and that cost has to be met somewhere. Hopefully those who are partying this weekend will be considerate and take their rubbish away with them.
Have you seen much evidence of bigger crowds on Florida's beaches this Memorial Day weekend? Do you think there are strong enough penalties for those who drop their litter? Let me know in the comments section below.