Posted: May 5, 2012 6:17 PM by Hope Hanselman
Local police departments are cracking down on unsafe drinking this year for Cinco de Mayo.
One of the biggest hot spots for celebrating was Shell Beach.
Pismo Beach police said they weren't expecting big crowds down by the waves.
Still, hundreds of people gathered. And locals watched from the cliffs above as the shoreline filled up.
"The Facebook newsfeed has certainly been poppin', crackin'," Jeffrey Hardin said, Cal Poly student.
Students all got the invite, Saturday, to a party on Shell Beach.
Cinco de Mayo has gained a reputation around here. But not everyone is happy about it.
"There's a little buzz going on, you know, because every time there seems to be a holiday on a beautiful, sunny day, the beach gets overrun," said Tyler Mitchell, a local surfer at Shell Beach.
Mitchell and many other surfers watched from the cliffs above as party-goers filled up the beach.
"A lot of surfers are at a little bit of a heightened awareness to make sure the vibe stays really cool at the beach," Mitchell said.
But more people, and their coolers, kept coming in.
Students say Cinco de Mayo and Cesar Chavez Day are the two big beach days for them.
In March, police supervised more than 3,000 people at Shell Beach celebrating Cesar Chavez Day.
But they left behind quite a mess.
"It was sad to see the state of the beach at the time," said Mitchell, who is afraid the parties will lead police to close down parts of his favorite surfing spot.
But the surrounding homes were also hit hard.
Neighbors were left to clean up after the Cesar Chavez Day festivities.
"That was a little bit disturbing because a lot of trash was left on the beach," said Stephen Bennett, who has lived in Shell Beach for almost 15 years. "Some of my neighbors and myself went down and helped pick up."
Bennett, also, monitored the crowds outside his house.
He says when the parking spots go, it's a sign things may get out of hand. They've learned with all those people comes all their waste.
"There's no facilities down there. There's no trash cans. There's no place, unless they haul it out themselves, they just leave it," Bennett said.
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