Terry and I are in the habit of riding our bicycles down to the public boat ramp in Old Homosassa on weekend mornings. We like to visit with our neighbors and watch the boaters put their vessels into the water. On typical days, experienced captains quickly maneuver their trailers into the water and launch their boats. Calmness ensues.
This Saturday will not be one of those typical days, as we have two popular events taking place in Old Homosassa. The first is the Homosassa River Fireworks Fest and the second is the opening of scalloping season. Usually the season starts on July 1st but Gov. Scott has moved it to this Saturday, June 28th. Both occasions bring masses of people to our little village.
The fun for the festival starts at 8 AM with the poker run registration and the day culminates in a fireworks display scheduled for 9:15 PM. Many of the local bars and restaurants have joined in the festivities with events scheduled throughout the day.
Meanwhile, scallopers will be trying to put their boats in at a public boat ramp then find parking for their vehicle and trailer. We have two county boat ramps, one right in Old Homosassa on Cherokee Way and the other at the end of Mason Creek Road. Neither ramp has adequate parking for the demand.
So now we have trucks with trailers trying to find spaces to park plus the visitors coming in just for the Fireworks Fest. Could be chaos!
There have been plenty of issues in the past—long lines of vehicles with boats blocking the streets; fights at the boat ramp; parking illegally on the sidewalks and private property; and trash thrown about indiscriminately are just a few examples. There is also the impact on the Homosassa River with all these extra boats.
This year is supposed to be different. During scallop season there will be county staff stationed at the boat ramp from 7 AM to 7 PM on weekends and on holidays to keep traffic on the boat ramp flowing and scallop cleaners off of the public dock. In addition, the Sheriff’s department will be patrolling the area.
I love the fun opportunities we have in Old Homosassa and usually try to attend all local events. I think it’s great that the influx from the scalloping helps the local economy, but the local homeowners shouldn’t have to suffer. Optimistically, additional county staff and Sheriff Patrols will help keep things under control.