Cue Nelly, because apparently it’s too ‘hot in herre’ so Miami Beach is canceling Spring Break.
The city is instituting an 8 p.m. curfew and declaring a state of emergency to try to get the horde of Spring Breakers who have flooded the area under control.
“Too many people are coming here right now,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said at a press conference Saturday. “Our city in this area has become a tinder, and we can’t have a policy of simply hoping it’s not lit.”
The main strip, Ocean Avenue, which has been jam-packed with revelers for the past two months, stayed crowded Saturday night well past the 8 p.m. deadline despite the curfew.
A SWAT team was on the perimeter but they reportedly left the area around 8:45 p.m. Police eventually fired pepper balls around 9 p.m. to disperse the crowd.
Paul Acosta, assistant chief of police at the Miami Beach Police Department, said the main part of Ocean Avenue was clear of crowds shortly after 9 p.m.
The 8 p.m. curfew will impact the main thoroughfare where Spring Breakers have reveled in the sun and Florida’s relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. The city was already under a midnight curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Eastbound traffic on three main causeways that connect Miami Beach to the city of Miami will also be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Miami Beach’s new curfew is in place to try to curb the partying that has sometimes devolved into disorderly conduct and violence over the last couple of weeks.
A popular Miami Beach party spot, the Clevelander Hotel, announced it is closing up shop until at least next weekend due to the hordes of young people that have descended on Miami Beach.
Mayor Gelber said he doesn’t “blame them for wanting to close” because it feels like “like this city is under a level of siege.”
Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said that the city has made over 900 arrests in February and March. The city recently called in reinforcements from Miami to add more police presence to the streets.
Other cities in Florida have also cracked down on Spring Breakers. Fort Lauderdale said it is increasing police patrols following a shooting and other violent incidents.
Miami Beach’s City Commission is meeting Sunday at 3 p.m. to discuss the curfew and other measures to crack down on rowdy Spring Breakers.