JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Jacksonville Beach was crowded Saturday as many people from out of town gathered for the Orange Crush Festival and police responded with an increased presence.
A sergeant with the Jacksonville Beach Police Department said officers had made five arrests as of 6 p.m. but it’s unclear if those arrested had any connection to the festival.
Police were patrolling on the beach as well as in the streets of Jacksonville Beach.
A lot of people were excited to listen to music on the beach and have a good time.
People came from as far as South Carolina and Georgia to participate in the festival.
The organizer of Orange Crush expects 20,000 people to be in Jacksonville this weekend for the festival.
“So far it’s safe and everything. I’m having a good time,” said Tiarra Jones from Jacksonville.
“Really just good vibes, no chaos, good music,” said Joshua Jordan from Georgia.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday that as a precautionary measure ahead of Orange Crush the department requested help from surrounding counties for the temporary housing of inmates.
In 2019 in Tybee Island, according to Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Gene Paul Smith, there were 80 arrests made during the weekend of the Orange Crush festival.
Ben Frazier, the president of Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, said he and some members of the organization are out making sure JSO patrols ethically.
“We think people here should be treated fairly and impartially,” Frazier said. “We’re going to continue to walk around and welcome people to our city.”
The main event Saturday was set for Onyx Sports Bar and Lounge on Norwood Avenue from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.
“We look for people to come from Orange Crush,” said King David, the head of security at Onyx. “It’s like a little after party for us. It’s a good safe place to have fun. We don’t have a whole lot of problems out here at a night club. Of course, you have a few things going on, but up here it’s a safe environment. We have a pretty good staff. It’s all about how you treat people and everybody on my security staff, we know how to treat people. We know how to talk to people and even when we have to do our job it’s all about professionalism.”