On Sunday, the scene at South Beach looked like any regular weekend. People shopped, spent quality time with loved ones and played volleyball.
The only sign of spring break was the heavy police presence on Ocean Drive. The crowds in the early evening included many families enjoying a day in the sun.
Chinazom Nwabueze, 46, traveled to South Florida from Maryland with his two kids. His oldest son played on the beach, at a park and even at the muscle gym, which he used as an obstacle course.
Nwabueze, who last visited Miami Beach in 2010, said he hadn’t heard about the deadly shootings that happened last weekend. City officials imposed a midnight curfew last week after two people died in back-to-back shootings. The curfew is no longer in effect.
“It’s quite sad to hear,” he said.
Asun Peterson, 47, his wife, Whitney Peterson, 36, and their kids, Amari, 4, and Malia, 1, made their way to Miami Beach from Charlotte, North Carolina. The family has even been considering a move.
“It’s been beautiful,” Asun said. Everybody is friendly. We haven’t had any problems.”
Whitney, who is originally from Canada, said the trip to South Florida was, in part, for a job interview.
“I just want summer every day,” she said.
Vendors, however, have had to adapt to the rowdy spring break season.
Juan Rodriguez, 61, closed down his fruit and juice stand near Lummus Park just before 5 p.m. Sellers, he said, have been warned to stop operating before large crowds form.
For Rodriguez, having to close up shop early is bad for business but necessary to keep his workers safe.
Families like Maria and her two kids continued to enjoy their day on the beach. Maria, 30, made the short drive from Miami to watch her friends play volleyball.
“We have eaten a lot, laughed a lot and slept a lot,” she said while eating a piece of fried chicken. “Everything is very calm, thanks to God.”
As nighttime rolled around, parents pushed their kids in strollers. Police officers patrolled the area in cars, on bikes and by foot. Two women waited to be picked up as they held suitcases.
By all accounts, spring break was coming to an end.
Sunday night has been “mild” compared to last weekend, rapper Steven Jo, 30, told the Miami Herald. He was dancing to Soulja Boy’s Crank That with friend 1804 Cowboy, 24.
“It was crazy” Steven Jo said of the previous weekend. “People’s cars were getting damaged and others were shaking their booty.”