450,000 People Visit Malibu During Holiday Weekend

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Malibu locals wear red, white and blue and drive decorated golf carts to celebrate the Fourth of July during the 16th annual Point Dume Parade.

Malibu’s Fourth of July statistics are in and roughly 450,000 people visited local beaches during the holiday weekend, a significant decrease from last year’s reported totals of approximately 584,000 visitors, according to Captain Tim McNulty with the Los Angeles Fire Department Lifeguard Division (LAFD).

Multiple agencies reported an initial onslaught of visitors on Friday, July 3, causing major traffic delays throughout town as residents and visitors began Independence Day weekend early.

“It was really busy on Friday, but the call volume was relatively low all weekend,” Lieutenant Jim Royal with the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said. “Friday was busier than I have seen in years … unexpectedly busy, with huge traffic jams, but we were very fortunate to have only minor collisions reported. We had a good weekend and a lot of people enjoyed themselves at the beach.”

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled areas via helicopter, patrol vehicles, mounted on horses and also with all-terrain vehicles on the beach, according to Royal. 

More than 230,000 visitors were recorded at Zuma Beach over the holiday weekend, followed by approximately 105,000 visitors to Malibu Beach and 88,000 people at Point Dume, according to statistics provided by LAFD.

Counts on the weekend before the holiday totaled around 270,000 visitors, with roughly half of the visitors at Zuma Beach alone. 

Of the reported 450,000 plus beachgoers in Malibu over Independence Day weekend, around 148 minor injuries and rescues did not require further medical attention, along with 24 missing persons relocated with family members or friends. 

Emergency vehicles responded to 64 calls, with less than 20 major incidents requiring further evaluation from medical personnel.

“I don’t think we had anything out of the ordinary or anything significant to note along with no major injuries,” McNulty said.

Different variables could have played a part in the lower attendance rates on beaches and in town, including cooler weather than usually expected during the beginning of summer. 

Partly cloudy skies and a high of 72 degrees on Friday, July 3, was reported by the National Weather Service, with a weekend high of 77 degrees on the Fourth of July. Low temperatures stayed around 61 degrees throughout the weekend.  

“A lot of it’s driven by the weather and conditions,” McNulty said. “Our weather wasn’t as warm as it has been and we didn’t have large surf conditions. We also didn’t have big rip currents and the water wasn’t very warm. All of those factors contribute to it not being as busy.”

Local Fire Departments also reported a lower call volume than expected for the weekend, with less than 10 emergency runs from Fire Station 88 on the Fourth of July.

“On the actual day of the Fourth, we maybe went on six to eight runs,” LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic Todd Garvey said. “On a normal weekend day during the summer, it’s usually a lot worse. It wasn’t as crazy as anticipated.”

Compared to last year’s busy holiday weekend, authorities were glad to see a decline in reported incidents. 

“Last year it was horrible on the Fourth of July,” Captain Michael McCormick with the Fire Prevention Office in Calabasas said. “[This year] we were able to go without any big, major incidents over the Fourth of July and not a lot of people shooting off illegal fireworks. I think a lot more people are conscientious about our area … if we want to light off fireworks in our backyard, we’re gonna suffer the consequences.”

Animals are a concern over expectedly loud weekends, and Denise Rosen, manager of the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter agreed that animal owners have seemed to show more awareness for their animals’ needs during the explosive holiday weekends. 

“The number of animals we got in didn’t increase and we’re always expecting it,” Rosen said. “People are getting better about taking care of their animals and planning ahead.” 

Patrolling and protecting visitors and residents in one of the most sought after beach cities in California is never an easy feat, especially on a holiday weekend. 

“For Fourth of July, there’s always this build up at the beach, and it rarely lives up to that reputation,” McNulty said.