Town officials approve changes to Freeman Park regulations

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Town officials approved changes to Freeman Park regulations at a meeting Tuesday night.

Carolina Beach leaders modified several ordinances for the park for the 2020 season.

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Mayor Joe Benson says there were no changes to Freeman Park’s hours of operation. The park will remain open 24 hours a day, year-round.

Benson says there were also no changes made to the alcohol policy. He says this policy separates the park from the south end of the island and makes it an attraction.

However, several changes were voted in at the meeting.

Benson says camping at Freeman Park will now be limited to the off-season. Camping will be allowed from the day after Labor Day, through the Thursday before Memorial Day.

He says camping eats up the ability for the park to absorb visitors with day or annual passes.

“Day to day, the number of vehicles comes down to not just park size, but the need to protect the natural environment and ensure that emergency responders have the ability in ingress and egress the park safely,” Benson said. “You have to have that in case of a medical emergency.”

A few changes to the prices of park passes were made as well.

Benson says early-bird passes will be $100 and annual passes will be $200. Daily pass prices will remain the same at around $30 during the week and $40 on the weekends.

He says they have extended the early-bird period, which used to run for two weeks. Now, it will start on December 9 and continue through January 31.