WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Is the party over for Masonboro? Some people say they hope so after this year’s 4th of July celebrations.
Hundreds of people made their way to Masonboro Island last week to celebrate Independence Day, but in the holiday’s wake are folks upset about the conditions on the island.
With the big crowds came big problems like numerous underage drinking tickets, fights involving 40 or more people and hundreds of pounds of trash left by drunk partiers.
With all the mess left on Masonboro, some wonder if the hoopla is worth the hassle.
“It’s like any other college-aged party,” Jack Kilbourne with the group Masonboro.org said. “It gets pretty crazy.”
Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti joined Masonboro.org to clean up the island on the 4th. What he saw shocked him.
“I was a little disappointed that there were a lot of fights,” Cignotti said. “Overintoxication was the norm, and in my mind what I saw was not what we would want to occur in our community.”
Cignotti says the problems don’t stay on the island either. The people who spend their day drinking on the island eventually come back to shore, bringing their problems with them.
The mayor says something has to change.
“I know one option that we can’t consider: to allow what has occurred to keep going on,” Cignotti said.
Cignotti and Kilbourne agree that if something isn’t done, they’re worried the island will be cut off to visitors for good. They don’t think that is fair for those who respect the rules and regulations and enjoy the environment.
“We don’t want to see them add any additional regulations, because if the regulations that were on the books were enforced, there would be no issues,” Kilbourne said.
Masonboro.org collected trash all day and said the island was spotless by nightfall on the 4th.
Cignotti says he may talk to all those involved in regulating the island to decide how to make the situation safer and more family friendly.