It's that time of year again -- the bi-annual awesomeness of Floatopia is upon us. The springtime installment of everyone's favorite party on innertubes is hitting South Pointe Park this Saturday, and we know our readers expect Cultist to keep them informed about all things buoyant.
So, to answer your burning questions, we chatted up one of the organizers. She told us what to expect, regaled us with stories of epic flotation devices, and reassured us that Miami's version of this floating fete is always trouble-free (unlike some others we might mention).
Cultist: This is Miami's fourth Floatopia. What's the best float you've seen so far?
It's hard to pick a favorite! Our Floatopians really take pride in their floats, and each float is cool in its own way. We've seen everything from a magic dragon, to girls matching their bikinis with their floats, to a tea cup, to a giant swan, to a huge ducky, to a floating cabana, to a band of pirates, to a group of ninja turtles ... all pretty impressive stuff! We love how Floatopians take this stuff so seriously and go all out!
See also: Floatopia 2013: The Ten Best Floats
Any pro tips for newbies?
Like all good things, it's simple: get something that floats, call up some friends, and hit the beach. Floatopia Miami is a free event where we invite everyone to come out to our beautiful beaches and have great time with good people. That's it!
If they want to bring one of the big floating islands, that's even better. They can split it with some friends and have their own floating island. Anyone bringing anything bigger than an individual float should bring rope and some form of anchor. Both of these are necessary so they don't float away from the group. With the rope, they can tie themselves to the other floats. This is a must, don't be shy. They can also bring a bag and fill it with sand, or buy those big 2.5 gallons of water to use as an anchor.
The most important thing we need people to do is bring a trash bag to clean up after themselves. The future of Floatopia Miami depends on us taking care of this beautiful beach. As we've said before, we can't destroy the very thing we came to enjoy. Floatopians do a pretty good job of cleaning after themselves and others, but it's always worth the reminder. Also, newbies need to know that no Styrofoam or glass is allowed on the beach.
Why is Miami's Floatopia the best Floatopia?
Our floatopia is the best Floatopia because of the people that attend our Floatopias: the Floatopians, as we like to call them. They are the ones that make the real magic happen. We pick a date and create a Facebook event invite, and the rest of the awesomeness is all thanks to the people that come out and make it into the fun experience that it is. How they get into character, how they interact with each other, how they help each other carry those big floats -- it's all a pretty cool thing to see. Miami is a beautiful city full of beautiful people, inside and out, and it's at events like this where we really see the character of the people that live here. And well, it's Miami! Need we say more? The setting, that beautiful beach... it's pretty hard for any other Floatopia to beat that.
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The recent Palm Beach County Floatopia had some issues with littering, noise, excessive drinking, arrests, as have some of the others nationwide. How are the Miami organizers planning to avoid these kinds of issues?
"Floatopia" is the general name given to events like our Floatopia Miami event. Anytime a bunch of people grab floats and hit the beach, it's a Floatopia. Each event is unique and can vary greatly, from the way it's promoted to the people that attend. We do not promote Floatopia Miami as a drinking event, but as a free event where people can get out there and enjoy the beautiful beach while meeting new people. All we ask is that they clean up after themselves. The beach, the fun of getting creative with their floats, and the guarantee of meeting some good-quality people, or spending time with old friends, brings an awesome crowd to our events. So we owe it to the Miami Floatopians -- they're the ones that have made this Floatopia so successful and they are the reason why we haven't had the issues that many other Floatopias face.
Oh, and FYI, organizers are so committed to keeping the beaches clean that they're giving away a ridiculously rad float as an incentive. Take a pic of you and your friends embarking on clean-up efforts and upload it to Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #floatopiamiami. Within a week, they'll choose one winner who'll score a totally amazing flotation device for use at the fall Floatopia -- or any other time you might need an awesome floatie. Sweet.