PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — The recent uptick in COVID-19 cases crushing the plans of many Panama City Beach-goers.
Monday, the city announced they would be cancelling the rest of their summer concert series. City Manager Drew Whitman said he didn’t cancel them but instead conditionally denied them.
“I didn’t think it would be fair if the city put on events when I’m telling other people to cancel,” Whitman said. “And the conditional denial all that is is telling them if the cases go down if the ICU beds go down they can reapply for it. It’s not an automatic cancelation.”
Whitman said if there is a drastic drop in case numbers, the canceled events could have the chance to still go on.
“I sent letters out stating that if they want to send letters out stating that,” he said. “If they want to reapply after the assessment any event that was scheduled for the near future they could.”
On Friday August 6, Whitman sent out emails to event organizers denying permits for five large events.
This includes the Panama City Food Truck Fest, Creatures of the Night, October Fest, The International Beach Games, and Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam.
City officials say they are going to be closely monitoring the pandemic spike.
“My goal is once the beds get back down to a normal level of capacity in the ICU I’ll look at them and I’m hoping we can start putting events back on,” Whitman said. “That’s why I’m only doing a conditional denial. I didn’t cancel them.”
In the emails sent by Whitman to event organizers, four of the emails mention the words ‘conditional denial.” But for Gulf Coast Jam, it just says denied.