Law enforcement officers were deployed to Ocean Beach in San Diego, CA on Wednesday to oversee a weekly event in the area.
Large groups of people have been gathering in Ocean Beach every week since June.
People call it the Drum Circle and Fire Dancing Event.
According to a CBS8 report, officers started breaking up the event after 10 pm on Wednesday.
Authorities in the area have handed out masks and educational materials to the beach-goers during the events
According to CBS8, police gave civilians citations for leaving containers open and for allowing dogs to roam without a leash.
However, police did not give citations to people who are not wearing face masks or not practicing social distancing.
The Ocean Beach gatherings were also smaller this week compared to last week due to the increased law enforcement presence.
A Letter Of Complaint
The increased police visibility in the area came after locals voiced their complaints.
Locals are concerned by the lack of mask-wearing and social distancing during the Wednesday gatherings.
The Ocean Beach (OB) Town Council Board of Directors also sent a letter to its council members last week to do something about the situation.
According to the letter obtained by KPBS, locals think that letting crowds into the beach during a pandemic shows “double standards” between the residents and businesses in the area.
The large numbers of crowds are “unacceptable,” they said, especially during a “public health crisis.”
According to them, “very large crowds” and “vendors” have been gathering “in Veteran’s Plaza” all through the week, especially on Wednesdays.
The letter also pointed out the “mayhem” these gatherings bring.
In the letter, the Board of Directors also emphasized that Public Health Officials have issued orders to curb the spread of COVID-19.
However, it seems that these orders are not being implemented strictly during the event.
The Board of Directors concluded the letter with a plea to its public officials to “put an end” to the events.
What Is The Ocean Beach Drum Circle And Fire Dancing Event
It is a weekly event being celebrated every Wednesday at the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market.
During the event, people can listen to live music and dance by the beach.
Other activities like acro yoga, hula-hooping, poi, flow arts, and many more are also being encouraged in the event.
Recently, the Facebook page of the event posted that there will be no “gathering until 2021.”