Petition seeks to get Floatopia ‘banned, canned, and never repeated’

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A new petition on Change.org is looking to get Floatopia banned in Virginia Beach.

The petition to the state lawmakers and Virginia Beach City Council cites the trash that was left on the beach following the Memorial Day event.

Floatopia is an unofficial event that’s taken place at Chic’s Beach. Hundreds of people gathered on the beach Sunday for a party filled with all sorts of flotation devices.

The party left 10 tons of trash on the beach for crews to clean up. Images and video showing trash strewn across the beach went viral earlier this week.

Chelly Seashore, who started the petition, wrote: “Alcohol is illegal on the beach, so where were the police to enforce this, and to break up the violence/ fights? This entire event needs to be banned, canned, and never repeated!”

Residents near Chic’s voiced their concerns about the messy state the beach was left in at a meeting Thursday night — with some saying the city should have been ready for the event.

Residents living in Ocean Park and surrounding areas described Floatopia as a drunk fest and an invasion of the community.

“You guys knew it was happening. There was no surprises, there was no porta potties, there was no waste disposal,” one man said.

Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen apologized to the crowd at Thursday’s meeting. “I stand before you, responsible for all that happened at your beach,” he said.

The man who organized Floatopia said he wants to “right the ship” after this year’s event. Stephen Hobbs, who has been spearheading it for the last eight years, said he got more than he bargained this time.

“The magnitude of it was overwhelming,” Hobbs said.

Hansen said Thursday he is consulting with the city attorney to see if any legal action can be taken against organizers.

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