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Panama City Beach officials prep for a crowded Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend is the big kick-off for the summer season, and it's looking like a crowded...
Memorial Day weekend is the big kick-off for the summer season, and it's looking like a crowded one for Panama City Beach.(WJHG/WECP)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Memorial Day Weekend is the big kick-off for the summer season, and it’s looking like a crowded one for Panama City Beach.

“It’s going to be busy. We know a lot of people are coming to town,” Mayor Mark Sheldon said.

Tourism officials said 2021 visitor numbers could break records.

“We’ve spoken with all of our partners within the destination and things are looking great for the area. We’ve heard the occupancy is full right now,” Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said.

City leaders said with more visitors, comes more responsibility.

“We are using all our mutual aid to make sure we have a safe community. Keeping Panama City Beach safe is our first and foremost,” Mayor Sheldon said.

Memorial Day Weekend is one of the busiest times of year for Panama City Beach. And more crowds coming in, also means more cars on the roads.

“Traffic is what it is on Panama City Beach right now. Obviously, we opened up Phillip Griffitts Sr. Blvd. a couple of weeks ago. But traffic is still going to be what it is on Front Beach Road and Back Beach Road. So, plan accordingly please,” Mayor Sheldon said.

Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said the department is fully staffed and ready for the unexpected.

“Ninety-nine percent is going to do what they’re going to do, and that’s have fun with their families and enjoy the holiday weekend. It’s that 1% we’re going to focus on that try to ruin it for everybody else,” Chief Talamantez said.

Everyone can have fun in the sun, but not without some rules. Swimming under double red flags ends in a $500 ticket.

“Some increased fines. We’re going from $50 to $500 for noise violations and things of that nature,” Mayor Sheldon said.

Talamantez wants to remind visitors, “don’t do anything here that you wouldn’t do at home.”

Mayor Sheldon said he hopes folks stay patient and humble this weekend. Not everyone is able to spend this holiday with their loved ones, but rather honoring their memory.

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