The slate of Fourth of July events proposed for Port St. Joe next month was pared by one Tuesday by city commissioners.
Commissioners said they would not allow a proposed concert scheduled for July 3 to be permitted, putting the kibosh to an event that morphed in content from family-oriented to a distinctly R rating.
The event, the Forgotten Coast Music Festival, was initially proposed as a family-oriented night of entertainment to raise money for Hurricane Michael victims.
The festival website noted a performance by Khia and several other artists, as well as activities, including “games and small events to celebrate the Forgotten Coast and all it means to the victims.”
The information the city finally received in the past few days, as well as posters publicizing the event around the community, provide a very different peek.
The poster includes photos of men and women in various states of undress and buffness, touts special appearances by acts including “Runway Diva Shay and the Lustt Models” and notes the event will feature a free full bar and cigar bar.
The festival was to take place in Peters Park and namesake Nathan Peters said he was against the event.
“We have many family events there, reunions, weddings, softball, and we do not have alcohol,” Peters said. “I do not support this.”
Resident Christy McElroy said she was offended by the poster and said the planned festival was the kind of event the city did not need.
“If they want to put on this kind of festival, they can go to Las Vegas,” she said. “The city does not need this. No money is enough.”
On the advice of counsel, commissioners rooted their denial of approval on issues beyond the content of the show: namely the ability to plan for such an event during an already busy holiday with little advance notice of the scope.
How security, garbage and traffic would be handled, just for starters, commissioners wondered.
“We should deny it based on misrepresentation of the event and the lack of meeting the requirements of the application,” Commissioner Scott Hoffman said. “It’s the terms of the application and the lack of time to plan.”
As left by commissioners, the slate of Fourth of July events includes the following:
*A Street Dance in the neighborhood of North Port St. Joe 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. ET July 3;
*Fireworks shot from Clifford Sims Park 10 p.m. ET July 4;
*Concert at Washington High Gym 10-12 p.m. ET July 5.