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. What time is the eclipse near me? NASA's interactive solar eclipse map has the best answer


    No matter where you are during today's solar eclipse, NASA has a map that will determine exactly what time the eclipse will begin, peak and end at every location in the United States.

  2. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  3. What to watch and listen to this week: Where to watch the solar eclipse on TV, Constitutional podcast


    Where to watch the solar eclipse on TV

    The Tampa Bay area will see about 80% coverage of the total solar eclipse.
  4. Do Rays, Corey Dickerson have a 'second wind'?

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was the time in late May when Corey Dickerson hit a ball that bounced in front of the plate, swatted it for a double. He hit anything that moved wherever it moved. He was that good.

    Tampa Bay Rays left fielder Corey Dickerson (10) gets beat to the bag on the throw to first to end the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. The Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-6. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
  5. Ex-Florida Gators QB Treon Harris will start at Tennessee State


    Former Florida Gators quarterback Treon Harris is a starter again.

    At Tennessee State.