'Racing Legends Parade' beach parade at risk

An annual parade along Ponce Inlet might not happen this year, because the county has not decided whether to issue a permit.

The Racing Legends Parade has been held along Ponce Inlet every February for the last eight years. It pays tribute to racing history on Volusia County. In the 1950s, race cars would drive on a four-mile strip of the beach as part of a track. Rhonda Glasnak, one of the parade organizers, says the event attracts people from all over the country.

"We have cars that are coming from Virginia, from Georgia, from North Carolina, South Carolina, WEVE had cars hauled from New York," she said. "It's an event going on for 8 consecutive years, going into its ninth year, and now it's an issue."

This year, the county manager has yet to issue a permit for the parade. Volusia County has a federal permit that allows driving on the beach until 2030. Part of the permit prohibits beach driving on natural beach areas, like the one the parade is usually held in. The county attorney, Dan Eckert, discussed the issue during a July meeting. He feared moving forward with the parade could risk beach driving all together.

"If you don't honor the terms of the permit, then you're not going to have vehicles on the beach assuming the physiography of the beach allows that in 2030," he said at the meeting.

The issue is expected to come up again at Tuesday's county council meeting. Glasnak hopes to save the parade, which she says lasts 25 to 45 minutes. She also says it is well regulated.

"There wasn't a driver/is not a driver that enters the parade that does not adhere to very strict environmental regulations which have been given to me from Volusia county," said Glasnak.