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Cape Cod town announces July 4th beach restrictions to avoid "massive drinking parties"

Cape Cod town imposes restrictions on beaches on July 4th after years of fights
Cape Cod town imposes restrictions on beaches on July 4th after years of fights 00:53

DENNIS - The town of Dennis is taking steps to try to avoid a repeat of past Fourth of July holidays that saw out-of-control crowds leave local beaches trashed

July 4th rules for Mayflower Beach in Dennis

New restrictions announced Wednesday affect Mayflower Beach, Chapin Beach and Bayview Beach. Police are banning parking in the neighborhoods around the beaches, and parking passes will not be sold or accepted on July 4. Only people with a residential, seasonal or weekly parking sticker will be allowed to access beach parking lots.

Authorities also said there will be "zero tolerance" for public drinking, drug use, loud music and "unsafe behavior" at the beaches. Anyone caught drinking alcohol on the beach will be fined $50 and have their drinks taken away. 

Rideshare drivers will be stopped at the Beach Street and New Boston Road intersection. Any passengers getting out there will have to work 1.2 miles to Mayflower Beach or 2.2 miles to Chapin.  

"Local and seasonal Dennis residents and visitors should be able to go to their local beach without encountering massive drinking parties organized by visitors who come to the beach for the day and leave utter chaos in their wake," Dennis Select Board Chair Christopher Lambton said in a statement.

"Tons of trash" left behind on Cape Cod beach

Last year, police said thousands of young people arrived at Mayflower Beach at dawn and crowds became unmanageable despite the presence of extra officers. There were multiple calls about large groups fighting and people urinating on protected beach dunes, police said. Police also had to break up a "live boxing match" and said one officer was surrounded and assaulted at the beach. 

Thirteen people were arrested in total and crowds left behind "several tons of trash."

Trash left on Mayflower Beach in Dennis last year Dennis Police

The beach restrictions are only in place for July 4th of this year, but Lambton said there will be further discussions to see if they should be continued or changed. 

"It's gotten worse every year," he said Wednesday. "At some point you need to change the way you do things."

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