SANTA ROSA COUNTY, Fla. (WEAR) — As many as a quarter million temporary residents will be converging on a narrow island for summer’s biggest event.
A daunting prospect for the Santa Rosa Island Authority. They have to keep things running like normal.
The public works director said it requires tweaking an already larger summer staff.
“We have temps that come in the summer, but they are here anyway,” said Public Works Manager Charles Morgan. “So we just readjust for this event. So we’ll have the bulk of them here.”
Saturday shifts will start around 4 a.m. and end after midnight.
Business owners are also ramped up what they say will be the most important weekend of the season.
For Angela Unzens, who owns Geronimo’s Outpost Souvenir Shop, it means stocking up on the must-have items for Blues fans.
“We bring in specialty shirts for instance or souvenirs that say Blue Angels and Fourth of July, especially for the children, Unzens explained. “We have the Blue Angels planes which they love. So there is a lot of extra merchandise.”
Then there are the permanent residents and homeowners who try to be smart about sharing the island by doing their own advance planning.
“Usually I stock up early, bring everything in,” said beach local Andy Powell. “I run for ice early locally on the island. Getting food and supplies early due to the traffic over the bridge.”
It’s all part of a collective effort to say welcome to town.