VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Many went to the beach today for an event called "Floatopia."
People have been outspoken about the event after the event led to tons of trash being left on the beach a few years ago. Families tell News 3 that the goal of this event is to have a memorable Fourth of July.
The fun-filled beach event has received some backlash, after leaving behind a messy beach in 2019. But this year the city's goal is to not have that repeated.
"This is exactly what I expected we got boats, floats, a bunch of people, everyone just floating having a good time," said a Floatopia attendee.
"We'll definitely be back next year. I mean it was such a good time all around the vibe was incredible," said another Floatopia attendee.
Floatopia, a beach event put on every year by locals has many people excited to hit the beach, but not everyone is thrilled.
Sayer Davis, a longtime resident of Virginia Beach said, "Last time they had the big one, they pretty much trashed it and it was very disappointing to see."
When tons of trash were left behind on the beach back in 2019, Davis was not happy. He says he considers Chic's Beach his second home, and everything you could imagine was dumped there.
"There was pallets, just empty beer cans, jugs, clothes, it was everything," said Davis.
This all leaves some city council members and police to address concerns, so it won't happen again. The city sent out a letter, saying the event doesn't have a permit, but because it's a public beach people can just show up. However, the city will be adding trash cans, dumpsters, and portable bathrooms in the area.
"It's nice to see that there's not that big of a crowd here. They can keep that away from here as far as I'm concerned," said Davis.
Meanwhile, others who live on the beach tell me they're happy that the city has stepped up. But they are concerned about parking problems, leaving one man to take matters into his own hands.
"People just pull up, and they will park, and they just get out of their car and take off. So the cones are to try and prevent them from using our driveways, these are our personal driveways," said Mike.
Although the city wants everyone to have a good time, those who live on the shore have a message for those attending Floatopia.
"Just be respectful to the beach that's all we ask," said Davis.
News 3 did reach out to Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer, to see if the city is following through on its word, but did not get a response.