Editor’s note 08/05/16: This article has been corrected to reflect that Ric Stafford, not Monica Kasselman Oberting, started the petition.
Crowds were smaller than usual at Log Bay Day in Lake George on Monday, July 27th. But that doesn’t mean the rowdy, drunken behavior wasn’t as wild as ever.
This year, the death of an eight-year-old girl by a boat driver, believed to have been at the party earlier in the day, has prompted a petition to end Log Bay Day for good; the celebration typically occurs annually on the last Monday in July.
Possibly due to a chance of thunderstorms being reported, crowds this year were around 600 people; sometimes more than 1,000 show up. Nevertheless, more than 60 officers from several local and state agencies were kept busy with the crowd.
While the fatal boat accident is the push many needed to start advocating for the end of Log Bay Day, it was not the only incident.
An intoxicated man was left paralyzed after he dove from the top of a pontoon boat into shallow water, significantly hurting his neck; numerous other injuries have been reported. Additionally, there were dozens of arrests and tickets issued.
Concerned parent Monica Kasselman Oberting is promoting the petition, started by Glens Falls resident Ric Stafford. The petition is asking lawmakers to put an end to the annual party in a normally peaceful spot in Lake George.
“There is drinking. A lot of consumption goes on,” Kasselman Oberting told Time Warner Cable News. “There are accidents. We’ve had people we know that have had stitches, been hospitalized.”
Many officials appear to agree that the party needs to end:
“I’m a proponent of doing away with it altogether and I am certainly going to work towards that,” Warren County Sheriff Bud York told Time Warner Cable News.
“This tragic event should tell us all that it should be the end of it,” Lake George Mayor Bob Blais told Time Warner Cable News. “It should not even be debatable.”
“Log Bay Day has run its course,” Executive Director of the Lake George Park Commission David Wick told ABC News. “It’s becoming a public safety hazard.”
Even the person who started Log Bay Day hasn’t attended the party in over a decade, reportedly because he is turned off by the drunken shenanigans and disregard for the lake.
James Looby, a musician turned computer and information sciences professor, organized the first Log Bay Day in 1997 along with fellow musicians. Now, he doesn’t go. “It’s a shame, really a shame,” he told ABC News.
Although many appear to agree that this year’s Log Bay Day should be the last, ending the party may prove a bit challenging – it’s technically an informal gathering with no permits required, making it difficult to regulate.
If the party does continue, more police presence will be likely seen in the future.
“If you party on that bay, you’re going to have a lot of eyes on you,” Wick told ABC News.
As of Monday morning, August 1st, the petition to end Log Bay Day contained 1,009 signatures with a goal of 1,500. You can check out the petition here.
Do you think this year’s Log Bay Day should be the last?