South Florida

Organizers say Floatopia not going to Bradenton Beach

drone view of ‘Floatopians’ taking part in the non-sanctioned Floatopia Miami event on Miami Beach in 2014. Floatopia touts a fun atmosphere on the beaches by encouraging people to bring rafts and other floats to the beach for a communal experience.
drone view of ‘Floatopians’ taking part in the non-sanctioned Floatopia Miami event on Miami Beach in 2014. Floatopia touts a fun atmosphere on the beaches by encouraging people to bring rafts and other floats to the beach for a communal experience.

Floatopia Miami organizers say there is no plan to bring their event to Coquina Beach on Saturday, contrary to what the Bradenton Beach Police Department has heard.

“Please note we are Floatopia MIAMI, the only events we know about are the ones WE plan … in MIAMI,” organizers said in an email Wednesday to a Bradenton Herald reporter. “If you take a look at our last post [on our instagram@floatopiamiami or Facebook page ‘floatopia miami’], you will understand that it would be senseless, irresponsible and completely contradictory to post what we did and then carelessly turn around a plan another event in another city in less than two weeks … It makes for a great story but that is not who we are or what we stand for.”

Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Grieco called the aftermath of Floatopia 2016 on South beach an "absolute travesty" in a video posted on his Facebook feed. The video shows a trashed beach covered in discarded rafts, bottles and cans.

Floatopia Miami, which takes place in Miami Beach several times a year, is known for people “floating and relaxing on rafts along the coast and mingling on the beach,” according to the official website. Photos on the website show beaming beach-goers with colorful inflatable ride-ons — a bright orange lobster, a giant striped sandal and an oversized pink teacup on the water are just a few featured in a photo gallery.

The latest Floatopia Miami event April 16, however, didn’t go well with Miami Beach officials after the beach was trashed with discarded rafts, bottles and cans.

The bitter taste hit Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale, who said Tuesday that the agency does not have the resources to properly guarantee safety for the unauthorized special event.

“We’re taking this as a serious issue, that this is an event that could possibly come up, and it’s definitely causing us concern,” he said, adding that no one has been able to reach the organizers. “We’re spending a lot of time as far as public safety to try to get together to ensure that this is going to be a safe day at the beach.”

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