Gather your air pumps and red Solo cups, Miami. It's time for another Floatopia, the bi-annual celebration of beach, bikinis, and fun floats that make us all feel like boys and girls again.
This year's float fest at South Pointe Park has been challenged to take the ALS ice bucket challenge by the original Floatopia in Virginia Beach. A cringe-inducing task on the regular, Floatopia's event has hot sun, cool ocean, and BYOB booze to soften that freezing blow.
"I think (Miami) is a great venue because it's pretty, the water is right there," the event's organizer said. "At 3:05 p.m., everyone will grab a bucket, bring abuela's bucket, or your nephew's bucket -- hopefully I'll be able to provide the ice -- and we'll all do the ice bucket challenge."
Since the beginning, Floatopia Miami's organizer has remained anonymous, preferring the focus to be on the event, not who's behind it. She stresses the importance of donating beforehand if you want to take part of the challenge, with a suggested amount of $5 -- the same amount you'd spend on a drink in South Beach.
"With so many people coming out, if each person donates a little something we have a big chance of making a difference and doing some good," she said. "This is a chance to show the world how awesome Miami is. I want help to set a record, like most people doing (the challenge) in the water, raising the most money, or something."
Floatopia usually raffles off one big floating island at the event, but this year floaters have a chance at three ("Because like Pitbull says in his song, 'three's a party.'") The floats, SS Goodtimes, come with built-in coolers and will go to one lucky floater who wins the clean-up photo contest. Participants will hashtag photos of their beach cleaning of the day with #FloatopiaMiami.
Though the family-friendly event offers something a little different each year, the goal remains the same: Good people having a good time. Miami's festivities have managed to keep it classy, cleaning up after the beer drinking and beach munchies. Organizers are thankful for the continued support and urge Miami to keep it up.
"It's beautiful to see a nice side of Miami," she said. "Good people coming together, relaxing. It's so simple to be happy, you just get a float and enjoy. We thank them for coming together and acting like the awesome community that they are...We need them to clean up, so we don't destroy the very thing we want to enjoy, which is our beautiful beaches."
Floatopia 2014 sets sail at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 30, at South Pointe Park. Organizers strongly suggest carpooling, cycling, or using public transportation to get to the event, which already has over 1,000 confirmed floaters. Visit facebook.com/floatopiamiami.
Send your story tips to Cultist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.