Cities brace for Boca Bash, an all-day party on water
DEERFIELDBEACH– Sunday marks the return of Boca Bash, when boaters converge for a daylong Lake Boca party. But the waves it made last year has Deerfield Beach shutting down its boating rampfor the day.
The city put up signs Thursday, saying the Pioneer Park boat rampat 423NEThird St. will not be available to the public starting at 3 a.m. Sunday. The spillover from Lake Boca has been causing problems, city commissioners agreedWednesday.
“It’s progressively gotten worse over the years,” said Deerfield Mayor Bill Ganz. “The boat launch has gotten so you have a lot of boaterswhoare intoxicated and belligerent. The neighborhood has had people parking in the cemetery, in the swales.”
Once a year, for about the last decade, Lake Boca has become a sea of boaters inaninformal gathering that typically happens the last weekend of April. Fueled by wordofFacebookandTwitter, it’s gotten larger and larger. And it has created ripples beyond Boca.
Drone views posted on the event’s Facebook page show boats clustered so tightly that it looks possible to walk boat to boat for a large expanse over the lake.
Deerfield Beach Commissioner Joe Miller calls it, “Woodstock on the Water, without the bands.”
Cory Coddington, whose family has lived adjacent to Pioneer Park, on Northeast Sixth Avenue for the past 30 years, applauded Deerfield’smove.
“The line was so long to get into the boat ramp, when we went down our street, no one would swing over to let us get to our house,” he said.
Organizers of the event could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Boca Raton police spokesman Mark Economou said his city started restricting Silver Palm Park to vehicles with permitted boats a few years ago. Pedestrians trying to catch a ride with other boats were tying up traffic, he said.
Otherwise, the event has gone off relatively incident-free, except for a handful of arrests, mostly for boating while intoxicated, he said.
But he said he can see why it has become a problem for Deerfield Beach.
“Becausewe limit access to the SilverPalmBoat ramparea, many head to Deerfield and try to get into the Intracoastal thatway,” he said.
Pompano Beach officials said they will be staffing the 14th Street Boat Ramp, 2815 NE 14th St. Causeway, with extra park rangers in anticipation of more traffic brought by the bash.
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