The influx of thousands of gays to Pensacola Beach for the Memorial Day holiday certainly sexed up the place. But again this year, gay partygoers left a behind a big trashy mess.
Volunteers and crews from Get Involved Pensacola joined with official trash pickups on Tuesday to help clean up the beaches littered with beer cans, liquor bottles, tents and even furniture. Officials said they expect tourists to leave behind their trash – and plan for it accordingly – but that bigger than usual crowds and bad weather combined to make for a big trash problem.
W.A. “Buck” Lee, executive director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority, said that on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, visitors had kept their trash bagged and contained.
“We had a squall come through Sunday,” he said. “Everything got soaked, the bags disintegrated and all the contents got loose.”
And what was left behind? Lots of trash.
West told Channel 3 News, the Santa Rosa Island Authority removed about three front loaders of trash.
Daniel Tarantino arrived before daybreak Tuesday to clean up debris. He told WEAR that he found beer cans and liquor bottles, tent stakes and metal pieces buried under the sand.
“It goes pretty far. I t goes further than I can see,” said Tarantino, his hands in gloves. “You don't know what you're going to touch.”
WEAR did a live report Tuesday morning from the beach near the Portofino Island Resort, which is popular among gay Atlantans who party through the holiday in Pensacola.
The trash left behind pissed off residents, who even took to complaining to Lance Bass. The gay former boybander enjoyed the holigay festivities in Pensacola.
@LanceBass you could help our community SO MUCH by bringing light to the fact that after big events mountains of trash are often left behind
— Morgan (@dailymorgasm) May 26, 2015
Residents also vented their frustrations about the trash and overnight camping to the News Journal:
Still, some beach residents find it upsetting that the shore is ever allowed to reach that state.
“We're not allowed to camp overnight or leave anything on the beach,” beach homeowner Renea Clowdsley said. “These people and organizations are allowed to set up night after night, then they walk away and leave everything.”
Photos from media reports and social media show the variety of trash left behind after the cocktails ended and the gay tourists returned to their homes. Did this trashy gay mess top 2013? Maybe so.