THE TALON

FollyGras Recap

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After thousands of locals and tourists crowded the island on Saturday, the Folly Beach community is considering new rules and regulations for their annual FollyGras block party.

Traffic for the event was five miles long and backroads were overcrowded. Folly Road was at a complete standstill for three hours on Saturday as more and more cars packed into the already crowded streets. People who were tired of sitting in the traffic abandoned their cars on the side of the road and walked miles to the beach and others hopped on bikes. Some 10,000 cars were counted coming onto the island, most likely setting a record.

However, most people were concerned about the excessive partying that occurred in the streets. Revelers were openly drinking alcohol on the island. Many Folly council members are supporting new regulations that ban drinking in the street at future FollyGras events, because too many people were heavily intoxicated.

Council members and FollyGras event organizers still want people to have a good time, but they are concerned about the city’s liability because the heavy drinking poses a multitude of threats. Especially, if an intoxicated partygoer were to recklessly drive and injure him/herself and/or others.

Some have suggested limiting drinking to the restaurants on Folly, so that the liability falls on the businesses rather than the city. This way, intoxication can be carefully regulated and everyone on the island will remain safe while still having a good time.

The Department of Public Safety reported that officers arrested 21 people and wrote 29 citations all related to the event. According to some police reports there was excessive litter, drunkenness, disorderly conduct, underage drinking, narcotics use, indecency, driving under the influence, etcetera. Luckily, there were no injuries due to drunkenness or drug use, but the situation was very dangerous and could have ended badly.

Usually, FollyGras is the busiest day for local businesses and restaurants, but this year the crowds were double last year’s crowds. The question has been raised as to why this year the event was so popular. It was most likely the clear skies and 80 degree weather that brought people out of their homes.

However, this year’s FollyGras was not all bad. It provided about $1 million dollars in sales for local businesses and raised roughly $10,000 for charities. So, even though the partying was out of hand, the event was a much needed success for locals on Folly.

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