Get ready San Diego, Floatopia is upon us again. It is spring break time at local colleges, the weather has warmed, and daylight savings time has put everyone in a good mood. The event, which originated in Santa Barbara, has taken San Diego by storm. Locals use the event to party on the beach, while protesting the beach alcohol ban that took effect in 2008.
For those of you that do not know what Floatopia is, it originated in 2007 at the University of California at Santa Barbara. This social event had college students gathered in the ocean with store bought and homemade flotation devices. It has grown from 300 students attending in 2007, to over 12,000 attending in 2009.
The young people of San Diego got wind of this idea when the “alcohol booze ban” became official on all San Diego beaches. Realizing there is a loophole to this law, people hit the beach last summer in their own Flotopia event. The beach alcohol ban in San Diego says that no alcoholic beverages are allowed on the sand; the law does not say anything about these beverages being consumed in the water.
Last September over 2,500 people gathered at Mission Bay with their bathing suits, an aray of floatation devices, and concealed beverages which they opened once their feet left the sand.
Each Floatopia seems to get more popular than the next. The Spring Break 2010 version of the event is set to be held this Saturday, March 20th. Protesters of the booze ban have been instructed to meet on the Northside of Mission Bay by Fanuel Park at 10:30AM.
With all the attention that last years Floatopia received, it is likely that despite the early time of year, the event will bring a much larger crowd. There is no doubt that local law enforcement will be on the scene to enforce all local regulations.
Organizers of the event claim that you will not get a citation from the police if you have NO open containers on the beach. If you touch the sand with an open container in your hand, you’ll likely spend time drying off with a citation in your hand.
For those that are planning on attending this event, a word of warning: even if you do not get fined for drinking on the beach, you can still get cited for an open container in public, being drunk in public, and serving alcohol to minors. All laws are still in effect, even if the alcohol beach ban was vaguely written.