The Urban Beach Weekend festival under way in Miami Beach has drawn tens of thousands of visitors to the resort city's South Beach district for the Memorial Day weekend.
The festival's massive number of visitors has forced local authorities to deploy a huge contingent of police officers, but so far the event is taking place without any major incidents, police spokesmen told Efe.
Providing adequate security for the music festival, which is taking place in numerous hip hop clubs in the vicinity and is attracting thousands of young people to the island city in South Florida represents a challenge for police, who have dispatched a total of 600 officers to oversee the festivities.
Nevertheless, the low number of arrests made so far, most of them for minor infractions, has enabled authorities to anticipate a "rather calm" day compared with earlier years, Miami Beach Police Department spokesman Sgt. Bobby Hernandez said.
The Urban Beach Weekend, which is running all weekend and is geared this year toward paying tribute to veterans and to those who have fallen in combat, has maxed out Miami Beach's hotel capacity, just like last year.
The celebration, which is being complimented with beautiful beach weather and is considered to be the unofficial start of summer, since its creation has been a focus of tension for Miami Beach residents, given that there have never failed to be conflicts between eventgoers and local residents, not to mention confrontations with the police.
The most significant such incident occurred in 2011 when an African American man was killed by police in a spectacular shootout, the investigation into which is still under way.
In 2005, police arrested 1,006 people during the festival, or 10 percent of the total number of arrests made on Miami Beach all year, Hernandez said. EFE