VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — As Virginia Beach Police continue to prepare for College Beach Weekend, many tourists are just hearing about last year’s chaos.
Visitors know very little about what happened at the Oceanfront. The Valley family from Massachusetts first heard the words “college beach week” from a gift shop cashier in Williamsburg on their way to the resort city.
“She just let us know it is supposed to be spring break week and that there is a lot of shootings, stabbings going on,” said Tara Valley. “She said to be careful.”
The tourists now find themselves smack in the middle of what could be a dangerous situation. That’s why the police have every officer on payroll working this weekend.
“I knew she was coming last year, but I wasn’t aware [of what happened] until she told me just a couple days ago,” said Becky Smith from Fredericksburg.
Smith’s daughter was at the Oceanfront during last year’s event, and for the first time, 10 On Your Side showed her video of what the resort area looked like when overrun by crowds.
“Oh my gosh,” Smith said. “Wow! That’s not what I think of when I think of Virginia Beach.”
“Look at the people,” said Bill Machia from Vermont. “It is just amazing. It is shocking, really, for me.”
The scenes from last year are not the images Virginia Beach officials want people to remember. Some of the guests WAVY.com talked to said if they would have known better, they might have gone somewhere else.
“I don’t want to be part of any riot,” Machia said. “It just made us want to leave here.”