The event marks the start of summer and takes place at Chic’s Beach.
Video footage and pictures of the trash circulated widely online, prompting angry reactions from some people in the community.
“I was disappointed to wake up this morning to see images of trash all over our beautiful Chesapeake Bay beach after Sunday’s festivities. We can do better than this! Let’s work together to keep our city beautiful and clean,” councilman Michael Berlucchi said in a Facebook post.
A video recorded by Melissa Noel showing piles of trash garnered over 1.1 million views.
“Wow. Stay classy Virginia Beach,” she said while moving her phone around to capture the scene. “I think there’s what, maybe one, two trash cans in the middle of that?” she added, showing a huge pile of trash.
“I almost don’t want to live here anymore,” she said.
— Jeannie Kartis (@jeannie_kartis) May 26, 2019
— WTKR News 3 (@WTKR3) May 27, 2019
Y’all really went to floatopia and left our beaches like this? Shame on you. pic.twitter.com/p1EeHYBth5
— Sierra Taylor (@Sierrantaylor) May 27, 2019
Noel said that she was joining people in cleaning up the mess.
Noel later told WTKR, “I had never seen the beach look like that before and I had originally just posted it to my Facebook page and my friend asked me to make it shareable and then all of a sudden it really got big.”
“Total disrespect for our bay, our animals, beach, and our private property,” local resident George Marino added. “Lots of floats, lots of wood, lots of things to party with. Beer cans and different types of food. Socks were everywhere.”
The Virginia Beach government said it was aware of photos and videos showing the trash. “The City is taking care if it. Thank you to those who reported it. Hope you all enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend!” it said.
Drew Lankford with the City of Virginia Beach Public Works Department told WAVY that crews picked up 10 tons of trash on Monday.
“All kinds of garbage, trash, bottles, towels, pieces of clothing, mats, cans,” he said.
“You know, it’s not a whole lot of effort to clean up after yourself,” he added.
Kane, though, said that volunteers helped city crews clean up the trash.
“First thing this morning there’s volunteers—one of the head guys who puts on the party was out here at 5:30 this morning gathering garbage,” Kane said.