Students and revelers returned to Spring Break festivities in Miami Saturday, though they had to rush late to get in before the 6 p.m. ending for liquor sales in the city following a pair of shootings this week.
In addition to a hard curfew for much of the party district which took effect at 11.59pm, the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption was halted from 6pm to 6am – measures that came after two horrifying shootings that left five people injured in recent days.
Police were out in full force to watch over the revelry on Saturday, with a group of officers telling some supposed influencers to stop filming videos on Ocean Drive and 8th Street in Miami Beach.
An increased amount of officers could be seen making arrests and searching cars along South Beach throughout the day.
The curfew kicked in on Thursday night and will also be in effect on Sunday, and could be extended next week as desperate officials attempt to reign in wild crowds.
Last year police also imposed a curfew after arresting more than 1,000 people over the course of six weeks for street fights and vandalism.
Every year in the spring, hordes of partygoers take over the Miami Beach waterfront for late-night drinking parties that can quickly turn ugly.
A sign letting customers know they have until 6 p.m. to buy alcohol is displayed at a small convenience store off Washington Avenue and 12th Street
Everyone feels like dancing at this photo on another beautiful weather day in Miami Beach, Florida
Anybody thirsty? A drink pouch is seen at the beach, apparently serving up happy hour beverages
It looks like this soccer ball is getting double usage as a volleyball as young people frolic about the sand
People gather near Ocean Drive as the night celebrations begin for these spring breakers
The party still went on into the night, though not as late into the night as things had gone earlier in the week
People walk through Ocean Drive as night falls on Miami Beach, with everyone keeping an eye on the clock
A police officer talks with social media influencers, forcing them to stop filming videos on Ocean Drive and 8th Street in Miami Beach
Miami Beach officials have spent recent years trying to control the raucous crowds, public drinking and growing violence associated with the city’s world-famous South Beach neighborhood during spring break.
Business owners claim they’re being unfairly targeted by regulations, and civil rights advocates say the city is trying to scare away Black tourists who make up many of the visitors.
Two shootings that wounded five people last weekend, prompting the city to impose an emergency midnight curfew this weekend, have refocused attention on the glamorous waterfront’s future – as an entertainment district or something else entirely. The city’s mayor, a Democrat, insists the crackdown is about bad behavior, not race.
The 10-block stretch of Ocean Drive known for art deco hotels, restaurants and bars lies between areas that cater to more affluent tourists, as well as locals. Many longtime residents have learned to treat spring break like a hurricane: Stay inside and hunker down until it’s over.
Resident Pedro Herrera, 40, said spring break is great for business at the hotel where he works, but he stays away from tourist areas when he’s off the clock.
It was another beautiful day in paradise for these spring breakers, enjoying a perfect weather experience
Police search a vehicle after making an arrest on South Beach Saturday afternoon
One of the more stylish vehicles to appear on South Beach rides by police officers at spring break
This golf cart helps police officers better survey the party scene in Miami Beach during spring break
The sidewalks and the streets belong to the party crowd as these young people hang outside of a club
‘Before spring break, you can go walk on Ocean Drive,’ Herrera said. ‘Right now, I prefer to stay home, because I know if I go there, something is going to happen.’
Mayor Dan Gelber said spring break and several holiday weekends throughout the year have been a problem for the city since before he took office in 2017.
He sees the long-term solution as a fundamental change in the area around Ocean Drive from an entertainment district to a cultural district, replacing all-night bars and clubs with residential development and boutique offices.
‘Now, we have this business model of big drinks and large volumes all night long with tens of thousands of people,’ Gelber said. ‘Which really just doesn´t work for our city.’
Gelber said he is still pursing a 2 a.m. South Beach alcohol ban, which was blocked by a circuit court judge earlier this month. Last call is 5 a.m. throughout most of Miami Beach, and South Beach businesses have been pushing back against the proposed rule that targets only their part of town.
More than one of these spring breakers needs a fan to wave off this dancer from their personal space
Apparently, there was a costume party as this man dressed as a hot dog, famously used in Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave and the Blink-182 video for ‘What’s My Age Again’
Miami Beach has tried to incorporate some family activities the month of spring break this year
These gentleman are enjoying the sand and sun in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday at spring break
A couple of fun hats and mandatory shades for these men as they catch some rays in the sand along South Beach
The legendary Clevelander hotel and bar on Ocean Drive sued the city over the alcohol rollback last spring.
Though not part of the lawsuit, Joshua Wallack, chief operating officer of nearby Mango´s Tropical Café, said the proposed rules give bars and clubs outside the target area an unfair advantage and threaten businesses inside the area with possible closure.
‘They are pushing for a 2 a.m. ban but with exemptions,’ Wallack said. ‘Do you really think they want to shut down the Fontainebleau?’
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is an iconic luxury hotel more than a mile north of the South Beach area. The hotel’s nightclub, LIV, regularly stays open until 5 a.m.
Some civil rights advocates believe city officials are concerned about the demographics of the visitors.
A lifeguard kepps the whistle in her mouth as the beach is packed with spring breakers and locals alike
A picture within a picture as these two ladies pull up on a jetski to take a photo for their cameraphones
A couple of spring breakers get cheeky as they enjoy another day in the paradise-like condition in Miami Beach
Spring breakers walk along Ocean Drive in South Beach, on Saturday in Miami Beach
The beach was crowded yet again in Miami, even though many were displeased with the midnight curfew instilled
A flash of colorful clothes is always a huge part of spring break and these ladies are dressed the part
Old and new friends gather along the beach in Miami on Saturday as they enjoy their freedom from school
South Beach started to become a popular destination for Black tourists about two decades ago as promoters organized Urban Beach Week during the Memorial Day weekend.
Many locals have complained about violence and other crime associated with the event, which led to an increased police presence.
But the event’s continued popularity correlates to a bump in Black tourism throughout the year, including spring break.
Stephen Hunter Johnson, an attorney and member of Miami-Dade´s Black Affairs Advisory Board, said the emergency curfew was an overreaction to last weekend’s shootings.
He argued that if two nonfatal shootings in two days was enough to warrant a state of emergency, then the entire county should be under a state of emergency indefinitely.
‘The only emergency in Miami Beach is that there were Black people there,’ Johnson said.
Spring breakers and locals stare out into the Atlantic Ocean as the water glows bright blue on Miami Beach
It gets so hot for one of these revelers, she has to bust out a fan to keep cool in the hot spring sun
Sometimes it gets a little hot and some people need a rest from the fun and the sun in Miami
It wouldn’t be spring break without an attempt for everyone to go out and get a tan to take back to school
A Ukrainian flag is displayed on South Beach to show solidarity from the party crowd to those dealing with the Russian invasion
Umbrellas abound as everyone gets some shade to protect from the sun rays along Miami Beach
People spend time at the beach during the Spring Break in Miami Beach ahead of the midnight curfew
This gigantic cruise ship crashes the party on Saturday with locals crowding the sand and surf
More than 1,000 people were arrested last March, when the city imposed an 8 p.m. curfew. At the time, authorities sent military style vehicles to disperse predominantly Black crowds with rubber bullets, prompting criticism from Black activists.
In an attempt to discourage large crowds, the city had canceled all programs amid the pandemic, leaving a void for tens of thousands of people gathered with nothing to do.
Johnson said this year’s Miami Beach Live concert series, the city’s attempt to return programming to spring break, completely ignored the young urban demographic by booking artists like 1990s alt-rocker Alanis Morissette and Broadway performer Bernadette Peters.
Miami Beach’s mayor rejects the idea that the city is somehow trying to discourage Black visitors.
‘The issue this weekend was obviously related to behavior and not race,’ Gelber said. ‘We had spring break for three weeks without asking for a curfew, without invoking the emergency powers. We did it the morning after two shootings.’
While the welcome sign has been out on Ocean Drive, not everyone in the city has loved what the spring breakers have brought to Miami Beach
A police officer patrols the beach during the Spring Break in Miami Beach, Florida
Many visitors feel it’s unfair to be surprised with restrictions after making their spring break plans weeks or months in advance, but most are still determined to have a good time.
Anwar Hassan, 21, visiting from Washington, D.C., said he’ll just find something else to do after the curfew.
‘I’m not going to let this limit my trip,’ Hassan said. ‘I’ll just go do something else somewhere else. It doesn’t have to be at the beach. This place is huge. We´ll find something.’
Thousands of spring breakers were spotted on camera Friday enjoying a beautiful day out on the Fort Lauderdale beach, free from the restraints and curfews that Miami Beach revelers have faced after several shootings marred the festivities.
Fort Lauderdale beaches were covered in bikini-clad students soaking up some sun, playing games or splashing in the surf, with conditions for swimming reported to be perfect on Friday.
There’s no rain to get caught in, but if you like pina coladas, Miami Beach was the place to be
Soccer is often played on sand and this spring breaker was no different as he dribbled along the beach
The police were making sure everyone was keeping safe on this Saturday afternoon
Palm trees and beautifully colored lights highlight Ocean Drive as evening falls in Miami Beach
Flashy cars and motorcycles rolling down the street are often a feature of the scene along South Beach
At the World Famous Elbo Room, an historic Fort Lauderdale bar that was founded in 1938, beachgoers smoked electronic cigarettes on the patio and enjoyed some alcoholic beverages to get out of the heat of the sun.
Meanwhile, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department were ever-present, with motorcycle cops spotted in the shade of a tent as temperatures hovered around a sunny 76 degrees on Friday.
The majority of beachgoers appeared to have an alcoholic drink in hand, despite the fact that Fort Lauderdale now prohibits drinking on the beach, along with tents, tables, and coolers.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk