Floatopia: Spring Break Party on Floaties

Never underestimate the ability of college students to drink. Out here in San Diego this weekend, thousands of college students on spring break participated in something called Floatopia.

Floatopia drew up to 6,000 college students, who showed up with their swimming suits and beer coolers ready to dodge San Diego’s prohibition on drinking on its beaches. The students cleverly skirted the law by bringing inner tubes, kiddie pools and rafts with them. As long as they drank while floating on the water, the cops and life guards couldn’t stop them.

2010 Floatopia organizers had found a way to cleverly skirt the no-alcohol ban because the City Council had banned drinking on its beaches, piers and sidewalks, but no one thought about prohibiting drinking on the water.

The event ended up descending into mayhem according to a resident, who lives near the Floatopia scene:

Things started peacefully, and we all thought 60 degree water would make it a short event. Again, not so. Initial participants stayed in their blow-up rafts over 7 hours. At the end of the event it was mayhem. People were falling down drunk. Police issued many citations but, very far fewer than possible.

As a mom, I know it’s probably fruitless to tell your college kid not to drink. The best you can probably accomplish is to tell them to drink moderately. And not forget the sunscreen.

All those pasty kids from back East, who were living it up at Floatopia, are probably suffering from hangovers and painful sunburns today. Out here in Southern California, you can get a nasty sunburn even if the sun remains hiding behind the clouds and this weekend the sun was in its full glory. What a lot of kids rollicking at Floatopia also probably didn’t realize is that sun exposure can maximize the effects of alcohol.

And one other tip…coeds, in particular, should hold onto their drinks at parties — on or off inner tubes. Call me a paranoid mom, but young women should not drink out of any container or cup that they have set down at a party. Who knows what somebody might pour into it. End of lecture. And end of Floatopia for this year I hope.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow me on Twitter.

Let's Connect

Leave a Reply