Sun Sentinel September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011|Elizabeth Roberts Forum Publishing Group

For the first time in 26 years, there will be no Midnight Madness in October.

“Last year, we spent $6,700 on police and fire services, and we had 15,000 kids and people on the beach. This year, the police and fire fee would be double,” said organizer Linsey Cottrell.

Cottrell also serves as event planner for Island Water Sports, the business that puts on the annual event. Cottrell had said last year that problems arose when 2010’s free event went viral.

Word spread via fliers and on Facebook. Instead of the 5,000 people expected, between 12,000 and 15,000 eventgoers, mostly minors, jammed into the S-curve on A1A. Issues, Cottrell said, arose from a festival that drew too many pre-teens to a venue that offered not only skateboarding demonstrations and discounted board shorts, but alcohol.

“Then the city made us close the road at 11 p.m., and we had 12,000 kids with nowhere to go,” Cottrell said last year. “That is where things went bad.”

Merchants and residents said that by midnight, teens were vomiting on the sidewalk and flogging to the beach.

Cottrell said if there is Midnight Madness in October 2012, it will involve just Island Water Sports and a beachfront-sales-event-turned-block-party.

“We will be breaking away from the [Deerfield] Island Partnership,” Cottrell told the City Commission on Sept 6, referring to the coalition of beach businesses. “Last year we had complaints from residents. We need to address those issues.”

Carmen Morley, 12, was disappointed to learn of the cancellation.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “It is something we like to do every year.”

“It’s not their fault what happened,” agreed 13-year-old Ransom Gravatt, who also attended last year. “There was just one too many things going on.”

Next year’s event, Cottrell said, will be a return to the end-of-season-sale event of the past.

“We do it for the kids. We want them to have a good time,” Cottrell said.

To view the original article that appeared in the Forum, visit:http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-09-15/news/fl-dff-midnightmadness-0915-20110915_1_midnight-madness-free-event-police-and-fire

The Observer, Sept 15, 2011

TheObserver-Midnight-Madness-Cancelled
The article originally appeared in the Observer, Sept 15, 2011.