With snow in the forecast and no sign of summer, officials in McCall already have their sights set on this summer's Fourth of July celebrations and what they say has become an unruly situation at the resort city's popular North Beach.
For years, Valley County law enforcement has attempted to place restrictions on crowd sizes at North Beach on the north side of Payette Lake in an effort to curb "drunken revelry."
"The beer was going down so fast [on Fourth of July], it was kind of the perfect storm," Valley County Sergeant Kevin Copperi said in July 2015. Law enforcement estimated about 1,000 people were celebrating on the beach July 4, 2015, well over the 750-person limit. Previous Fourth of July parties saw as many as 2,500 people, triggering numerous arrests and citations for rowdy and/or drunken behavior.
This week's McCall Star-News reports the Idaho Park and Recreation Board has voted to ban all alcohol from North Beach during the Fourth of July holiday for at least the next three years. Additionally, City of McCall officials will ask the Valley County Sheriff's Office to rope off North Beach 300 feet from shore to prevent boats from dropping off people at the beach. City officials added they plan an "intensive public relations campaign" in the Boise area to warn visitors of the changes to Fourth of July 2016 celebrations in McCall.