Due to coronavirus impact, organizers of the massive Daytona Truck Meet have postponed the event from its usual June dates to Labor Day weekend in Daytona Beach.
DAYTONA BEACH — In the face of restrictions on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers of the annual Daytona Truck Meet are postponing the event until Labor Day weekend.
"Well, we tried our hardest to get approval but everything is stacked against us," organizers said in making the announcement. "We will see you guys, September 4th-6th."
The Truck Meet typically unfolds in June and features night-time events at One Daytona, the dining, retail and entertainment complex across the street from Daytona International Speedway.
In 2019, the three-day event drew an estimated 25,000 attendees, according to Truck Fever LLC, the Ponte Vedra company that presents the truck meet.
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In its three-year history, the event has inspired a combination of positive and negative reviews from area businesses and residents.
Hoteliers and merchants applaud the economic impact, while residents and business owners also have complained about major headaches of traffic congestion and rowdy behavior.
In 2019, the third annual edition resulted in 1,855 traffic citations, nearly 300 less than the 2,151 citations issued during the 2018 event, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Police also towed 13 vehicles and made 67 arrests, 58 for misdemeanor offenses and nine on felony charges.
Even a day before the official start of the event, 190 citations were issued and authorities said they arrested an unidentified man accused of running around naked outside the Circle K gas station at 201 Main St. and urinating on a police car.
Even so, Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said after the 2019 event that it generated fewer issues than in previous years.
"It’s getting a lot smoother," Capri said at the time. "As it has evolved, it’s getting better and better each year."
In announcing the rescheduled date, organizers referenced issues that included travel restrictions tied to the pandemic, corporate travel limitations for vendors and uncertainty about restrictions on beach driving in the wake of the virus.
"We want everyone to be able to attend, so we had no choice but to postpone," the announcement stated. "Make no mistake, we will grow from this and make the best of it."