Huntington Beach looks to stop dance party

Huntington Beach plans to ask a judge Wednesday to stop a beach dance party planned for Saturday. (Photo: A couple of altercations on Main Street in Huntington Beach escalated into rowdiness with multiple fights, public property destruction and alleged stabbings following the end of the U.S. Open of Surfing event in July.)
Huntington Beach plans to ask a judge Wednesday to stop a beach dance party planned for Saturday. (Photo: A couple of altercations on Main Street in Huntington Beach escalated into rowdiness with multiple fights, public property destruction and alleged stabbings following the end of the U.S. Open of Surfing event in July.) Norman Hartono (via YouTube)

The City of Huntington Beach is going to court Wednesday to stop a planned beach dance party. The move comes in the wake of the vandalism and rioting following the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing competition at Huntington Beach in July.

Saturday's event is called the Wet Electric Beach Party – nine hours of bands and alcohol for people 21 years and older. About 8,000 people are expected to show up at Huntington State Beach, near Magnolia and Brookhurst.

California State Parks has approved a permit for the dance party, saying a city permit is not required. But Huntington Beach disagrees.

The city's attorney plans to ask a judge for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and a permanent injunction to stop the event.

"Our city attorney believes that this is an un-permitted use of the beach within Huntington Beach and the state disagrees with us, so we're going to court," said Huntington Beach Mayor Connie Boardman.

Boardman said the city doesn't allow alcohol on its beaches.

"My main concern is what's going to happen while these folks, who have been drinking all day, leave at 9 p.m. on Saturday and start to drive through our streets and out onto the 405," said Boardman. "I'm very concerned about the impact of a bunch of inebriated drivers in the city as are our residents."

The event organizer has said the city is overreacting.

Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Huntington Beach Downtown Task Force meets Thursday with the goal of promoting what it considers to be events that bring money to the area but do not harm businesses or residences. 

The task force is partly a response to the vandalism and rowdiness that ocurred after July's surfing competition.

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