Parking at a premium for Flagler Beach fireworks

By Brittany Jones, Flagler County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, July 03, 2017, 8:30 PM EDT

The city of Flagler Beach is preparing for the thousands who will come out for their Fabulous Fourth Fireworks show Tuesday, but this year beach-goers may have more difficulty parking their cars since Hurricane Matthew eroded certain areas.

  • Flagler Beach expects thousands for Fabulous Fourth Fireworks show
  • Because of Hurricane Matthew, parking will be harder to find
  • Flagler Beach has posted a website with parking locations
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The city has put plans in place to help smooth out the event.

At least 25,000 people are expected to hit Flagler Beach to see the fireworks. Flagler Beach resident R.D. Mitchell said parking spots will be harder to find.

"If you don't get here early, you're not going to find a place to park. Since the hurricane, we don't have as much access to the beaches in some areas," said Mitchell.

After Hurricane Matthew last October, the city and FDOT have been trying to rebuild the dunes, but heavy rain has made that difficult. Now those areas near the dune where people could usually park are off limits.

"Those afternoon storms are hurting us right now and the last thing we want is for the road to drop into the ocean with Matthew so please do not park on the sea dunes," said Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney.

Chief Matt Doughney and his department have been preparing their Fourth of July plans for four months. They put out additional signs to enforce no parking on most of the north end of the beach and digital boards will also be placed throughout on A1A North and South.

"I know it's a fragile area, parking is limited, find those little pockets that you can park," said Doughney.

The chief said if drivers decide to park on A1A, park along the west side of the road and not the east side near the dune.

"We only have so much parking available that's why we're really pushing the park and ride," said Doughney.

A free shuttle is available at the old Food Lion parking lot that will be available before and after the show, plus the Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church has hundreds of spots at no cost.

The city posted easy parking maps to help guide people on the Flagler Beach website, and hope people will take advantage and avoid the headache.

"If the signs up there saying don't park there, don't park there for your own safety, property values, anything like that. It's out there to help you," said Mitchell.

Fireworks begin at 9 pm. Handicap parking is available at City Hall.