BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Organizers with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Boaters Rendezvous say the annual event has been canceled.
According to the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Interim Chief of Marine Patrol Rusty Pittman, DMR doesn't have money in the budget to provide the manpower to accommodate special events on the water.
MS Gulf Coast Boaters Rendezvous co-chair Bill Holmes said he's disappointed, but understands why DMR can't provide the enforcement.
"We don't lay the blame on anyone. We can handle our end, but we gotta have marine law enforcement behind us for the safety of the people and having a really nice event. And making sure people don't get out of hand," Holmes said.
The event is typically held in the first week of July. Thousands of people gather on boats for a one day floating festival that features entertainment and contests. Registered boats anchor around a party barge while their passengers watch the entertainment.
After a 10 year hiatus, the event returned in 2012, but in a new location: Deer Island.
"Our first year at Deer Island was a huge success," Holmes said. "We are absolutely hoping to have it next year."