A reader is asking about the yearly bonfire on the beach

Bonfires on the beach – a topic which has been discussed on the blog before. This message was sent in by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous :

“Dear Seabythecity, One of my neighbors was wondering about the yearly bonfire [LINK] that happens on Franklin.  Turns out they changed the date this year to do it on a Thursday, instead of a sunday.  We trolled the Long Beach website and still cannot find a permit that allows any open flames on the beach.  How is this still happening?  Either bonfires are allowed, or they are not.  Why are the rules in this town enforced selectively?  It’s not that I don’t want to see others enjoying this kind of event, it’s mostly that I would love to do this with my “community”.



20 Replies to “A reader is asking about the yearly bonfire on the beach”

  1. Does your “community” celebrate a religious holiday like Log B’Omer where one of the customs is lighting bonfires? I suppose to satisfy the “either they allow bonfires or they don’t on the beach” crowd this bonfire could happen instead in someone’s backyard but given how bone dry everything is due to a lack of rain, personally I’d much prefer this happens on the sand.

  2. in addition to checking online, try calling the city if you want to run an event that involves something generally prohibited. obviously there is concern that some people will not be safe or considerate with bonfires if they’re allowed at all times. i have no insider knowledge, but i’d imagine the synagogue just called the city & worked out some sort of arrangement for a once yearly bonfire that addressed all concerns. its impossible for the city website to cover every possible scenario, thats why there are rules & people can apply for variances

  3. Let’s consider some other community events that also involve “special privileges”. Will there be a post about any of these?

    Arts & Crafts fairs block the boardwalk
    Walks/runs for various charities on the boardwalk
    Irish Day parade & blocked streets/sidewalks
    St Mary’s Carnival blocks off the side walk & part of Long Beach road for 3 nights every summer
    Block parties
    Skudin Surf Camp
    Surf competitions
    Reserved surfer’s blocks
    Polar bears (hey, no swimming without a lifeguard right?)
    Carnivals at city hall
    Farmer’s market at city hall

    Instead of crapping on each other’s cultural events, let’s try having a little tolerance & take into account that this would be a pretty boring town if no exceptions were ever made

  4. These have been surprisingly reasonable responses. If anything, this bonfire proves that under certain circumstances exceptions can be made if certain conditions are met.

    St Mary’s is allowed to use the beach for mass once a week during the summer.

    I think any reputable organization that obtains the proper insurance and files the appropriate forms should get reasonable variances made from time to time. It’s part of perks of living in a small community like this.

  5. I am definitely applying for a bonfire permit this summer, and I consider a beach bonfire a religious experience every time I attend one

  6. I don’t care if they have their bon-fire as long as they are permitted. It seems like a reasonable accommodation as other organizations get.

    But wasn’t there a story on here (SBTC) last year about this same event: http://www.seabythecity.com/?p=23036

    In referencing that story it was about damage done to public property by a private group, what is in place to make sure the group cleans ups its mess.

    Has anyone been able to confirm with city that a permit was or was not issued? And if one was issued what is the process to request a permit if any other organization wanted to get one? Come on lets see some transparency from our city that they always promise.

  7. RE Polar Bears and Lifeguards: At least a dozen certified lifeguards in wetsuits have been at every Polar Bear event I attended. Most are in the water the whole time, close to the action. Look next time.

  8. THEY’RE CHARGING $5 per head to use the beach which belongs to the people of Long Beach. Why is the city government allowing free use of the beach where admission is being charged? What about the cleanup afterwards? Is that part of the city freebies the religious
    organization gets so near to election day? Nice bribe.

  9. Glad to hear it. I’m all for Polar Bears & these other events, was jiust pointing out how its strange to make a big deal about one event getting a variance when it happens all the time for all kinds of groups. Even though ice water is not my cup of tea, I’m happy that others enjoy it/raise money for a good cause, and am happy to chip in tax dollars to pay lifeguards & for cleanup for the event.

  10. You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
    You really are a heel.
    You’re as cuddly as a cactus,
    You’re as charming as an eel,
    Mr. Grinch.
    You’re a bad banana with a greasy black peel.

    You’re a monster, Mr. Grinch.
    Your heart’s an empty hole.
    Your brain is full of spiders.
    You’ve got garlic in your soul, Mr Grinch.
    I wouldn’t touch you with a
    Thirty-nine and a half foot pole.

  11. Agreed. However would like to add that events should be charged a fee for garbage clean up. The fair last weekend
    + run + haddash event had the boardwalk cans overflowing. The garbage on beach after polar splash is humiliating. They only clean up “official area” yet we all know people take the plunge outside that zone.
    On insurance note – does the city actually check and what are limits? I’ve worked with events that are of a fair / athletic and fire and water hazards and minimum
    Is. $3 million.

  12. Last night I called the LBPD and spoke with a woman who said that LBPD was aware of the bonfire and that they had a permit. She instructed me to call the City Clerk’s office and inquire about a permit, if I wanted to get one. I called the City Clerk’s office today and they said they did not issue this permit, check with a woman named Kerry at the Rec Center. I called Kerry and she said that they issue permits for the gathering, but that it was not for a bonfire. She said that this kind of permit goes through the City Manager’s office. So, I called City Manager’s office. I was put on hold and then when they came back they told me that there are absolutely no fires allowed on the beach. That whomever granted permission was not authorized to do so, and that PD would not allow it.
    So, last night PD was aware, but today when I was inquiring about it for my organization, it was totally unacceptable

    Open fires are not allowed on beaches, ever.
    There is no variance available for this type of event.

    Why does this organization get such special privileges?

  13. If this is the Jewish school on magnolia and beech…they held this event in their drive aw one year and almost burned the block down. Mozel tov….

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