Chief Andrew Gilreath, the Director of Public Safety for the City of Folly Beach, said the biggest issue they had this year was what he called the "lack of self-control on the part of the folks who came out," which he said included people drinking too much, littering and exhibiting poor behavior.
As a result, this weekend's 27th annual Sea and Sand festival, which is also presented by the business association, will have new rules for attendees.
"They're trying to prevent some of the stuff that happened at Folly Gras, and they're trying to still have the festival," exhibitor Katherine Wooton said. "It's good for local business and everything like that but they want to curb the craziness that's going on."
According to organizers, no coolers, pets or outdoor food or beverages will be allowed through the festival entrance. Bags will be inspected by security and prohibited items may be confiscated.
"We'll be under a microscope, but I think they want us to succeed," Steve Carroll, part-owner of The Washout, said. Carroll has been helping to organize local businesses as part of the festival.
Kids ten and under will receive free admittance, but the festival will charge a five dollar entry fee for adults, with the exception of Folly residents who bring a valid Folly Beach ID. According to Carroll, the new fee will also help offset the cost of festival expenses, such as security and cleanup.
"We've been blessed to have festivals with no admission for a long time," Carroll said. You don't see that anywhere else in Charleston. Five dollars is pretty minimal."
The event kicks off Friday, April 7th with the 4th Annual Miss Sea & Sand Pageant in the Folly River Park at 7 p.m. According to a press release, winners in various age groups will have the opportunity to wear their crowns and sashes during the Sea & Sand Festival, and may also volunteer to appear at all of Folly's fun events throughout the year.
Festivities are set to continue at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 with a celebration of Folly art and food that stretches up Center Street, from Huron to Ashley, with even more vendors in Folly River Park. The giant kids' activities zone features a four-station bungee jump trampoline, carnival games, face-painting & more. Other attractions include a mechanical bull, corn hole, silent auction, book signing and six live bands.
For more information about the 27th Annual Sea & Sand Festival, go to VisitFolly.com.
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