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Floatopia party not welcome on Cocoa Beach

City says no to controversial party

COCOA BEACH, Fla. – Whether it is Floatopia or Floatubia, Cocoa Beach does not want it.

According to News 6 partner Florida Today, a Facebook page had been promoting a May 15 "Floatubia" event for the beach at the end of Minutemen Causeway. A similar recent event billed "Floatopia" in Miami Beach attracted thousands of people and left the beach trashed with discarded inflatables, chairs and cans.

"We're not going to permit this event," acting City Manager Charles Holland said. "Our position is that it's not going to happen."

The event had been promoted on the Facebook page of Thomas Owens Team Cleo's Promotions. A subsequent post Wednesday announced the event had been canceled, but the original posts promoting the event had already been viewed about 3,000 times and had been shared to more than 90 other Facebook pages.

Holland said a large event would require a special permit application that would have to be reviewed before it would be permitted. The city does not allow for two large events to be held at the same time. Thunder in Cocoa Beach boat races takes place on the same weekend.

Floatopia left city leaders in Miami Beach calling for a ban of the event after so much trash was left behind. The event attracts large groups that gather in a mass of people floating on rafts and inflatable floats.

Owens said that he put the event on his Facebook page because he is a promoter, but that it was not an organized event. He said he has never attended a Floatopia even in Miami Beach or elsewhere.

"It started out about people hearing about the event in Miami," he said. "I just wanted everybody to come to the beach at the same time."

Owens said the event was not the hype people made it out to be. He said it seemed like city leaders were making it out to be bigger than he thought it would be.

Holland said he talked to Owens, who he said told him that the event was being misunderstood and that it was simply a group of people who wanted to mingle.

"What I hope is that the promoter will back off," Holland said.

Owens said he did just that and told his Facebook followers.

"I went on there and said it's canceled," he said.

He posted on Facebook, "Floatubia is Cancelled. It is not a licensed or nor is it a approved event by the city of Cocoa Beach. Cocoa Beach will be a regular beach day May 15th. I hope everybody enjoy a regular beach day but again Floatubia is cancel. We have found (that) a large group of people at the beach without time to prepare is not safe."