Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete Beach float party passes by without a problem (w/video)


Fears that a float party organized by a local rapper would bring chaos to the city's beaches on Sunday turned out to be overblown.

Several hundred Blue Wave rapper fans crowded the beaches, but their numbers fell far short of the tens of thousands that city officials and law enforcement had anticipated.

Beachgoers were well behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves, according to Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, who assigned more than 50 deputies, a helicopter, marine patrol and ATVs to protect the city's beaches from the Blue Wave Float Party.

There were no arrests at the event, which was organized by blue-haired Forgiato Blow, a self-described "national recording artist" whose real name is Kurt Jantz. No trash was left behind. No landmarks or resorts were vandalized.

Yet, as far as living up to weeks of social media hype or coming close to matching the crowd of 100,000 that trashed Miami Beach at last month's "Floatopia," Blue Wave didn't come close.

"Float flop," is what an irked Maria Lowe, mayor of St. Pete Beach, dubbed the affair. She wanted Blow, a St. Pete Beach resident, to reschedule the event, but he refused.

When Lowe was on the beach earlier Sunday, she said there were only about 150 people with floats surrounding Blow's music-filled tent.

That changed later, however, as float-carrying beachgoers continued to arrive, even into later afternoon. Amid the beach blankets, lounge chairs and multicolored tents were floats large and small, ranging from traditional beach tubes to fanciful sea creatures, some as large as the cars and vans that brought them.

Some, confused by Blow's last-minute change of location to the county beach park north of the Loews Don CeSar Hotel, left the city with their floats still tied atop their cars. Other beachgoers had their cars towed after parking illegally.

Nonetheless, Blow called the event a success.

"I am very satisfied," he said. "I just wanted my fans to have some fun."

David Gay of Madeira Beach heard about the float party from a friend and decided to attend. He now calls himself a Blow fan. "He's the coolest," said Gay.

Others were just happy that the event didn't come with any extra drama.

"This is the way is should be," Gualtieri said.

St. Pete Beach float party passes by without a problem (w/video) 05/22/16 [Last modified: Sunday, May 22, 2016 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Finally, Jeff Vinik's vision has a name: Water Street Tampa


    TAMPA — For years, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and the real estate executives he employs have been dreaming how to transform 53 acres of downtown Tampa into a major hub of living, working and entertaining in the city's core.

    Strategic Property Partners announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. This rendering shows the Tampa skyline with SPP's future buildings in place. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  2. Future, Ruff Ryders reunion tour coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa


    Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre is in the midst of a killer summer of rock (Green Day, Muse, Linkin Park) and country (Sam Hunt, Lady Antebelleum, Dierks Bentley).

  3. Rubio remains noncommital on Obamacare replacement but a likely yes vote


    Sen. Marco Rubio has been bombarded with phone calls, emails and on Monday, protests took place outside his offices in Doral and Palm Beach Gardens. But while the effort is most unlikely to dissuade the Florida Republican from voting for the Obamacare replacement -- if it even comes up for a vote this week -- he remains …

  4. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  5. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]