Events Can Return to The Beach

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In addition to ditching the mask mandate on Monday, town manager Roger Hernstadt no longer has the authority to approve or deny special event applications. As part of COVID-19 restrictions, the council gave Hernstadt the power to approve or deny all special events. He no longer has that power.

There have been no major events on Fort Myers Beach since the pandemic began. The annual Lions Club Shrimp Festival had to be canceled twice due to the restrictions. The 2020 4th of July celebration, the Sandscuplting Championships were some of the major events that were canceled.

And, despite following all the proper COVID-19 protocols for permit approval, Hernstadt denied a special event permit for the Putt & Pub Crawl sponsored by the Women’s Club. He then told the local newspaper the Woman’s Club did not fill out the town’s COVID-19 requirements on the application, which they clearly did (we reviewed their application).

That discretion was eliminated by the Council Monday. If a request for a special event permit meets the specs of the application, the Town Manager must move it without consideration given to COVID.

The 4th of July fireworks celebration will be the first major event to return to the beach since before the pandemic. The council approved the fireworks celebration last month. There will not be a parade this year.

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