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Festival Filibuster: How Palm Coast Plays Hardball With Flagler Beach

| November 7, 2010

One-way presumption. (© FlaglerLive)

If you have any doubts that Palm Coast thinks it’s the only game in town this weekend of festivals, have a look at the temporary signs greeting drivers exiting I-95 at State Road 100.

At both southbound and northbound exits, “Special Event” signs point in one direction and one direction alone: west, toward Palm Coast–and away from Flagler Beach. Another red-lettered sign at each exit specifies Palm Coast’s seafood festival, its first this year. Nothing about the Tommy Tant Memorial Surf Classic (or its own seafood festival), now in its 11th year. Nothing about anything other than Palm Coast’s event.

That’s how Palm Coast plays nice and recognizes its neighbors: by ignoring them. And the city wonders why it’s getting a bad rap lately. There’s a difference, in other words, between Palm Coast promoting itself and Palm Coast promoting itself as part of its larger community. It does the first very well. It has no time for the other.

Editor’s Blog

It’s entirely plausible (even desirable) to schedule events together so that one builds on the other–as long as there’s a thought-out strategy to do that. A coordinated approach would have highlighted both events anywhere they’re marketed, including medians, adding to the sense that this is a happening place and giving people more of an incentive to visit. Both cities would do well to highlight each other’s events on their web pages concurrently. The Palm Coast Observer did a nice job of highlighting both events, but that’s not what Interstate travelers see when they get off I-95. The city is going out of its way, literally, to divert people exclusively to its own affair. That’s silly, short-sighted and–no longer an unusual spore fouling this city’s air–arrogant.

Palm Coast scheduled its festival after the Tommy Tant Classic’s schedule was set, though no one from Palm Coast called Flagler Beach to coordinate dates–or signs or marketing. Not after Flagler Beach set the date for the classic in June. Other than the paper, “nobody else approached us from Palm Coast,” Tom Tant, the late Tommy Tant’s father, said, though he added that most people going to the Tommy Tant classic know where they’re going. Saturday’s crowd, put at between 3,000 and 4,000 by Tant, suggests that the classic wasn’t hurting for visitors.

But Palm Coast is hurting for a little more civic literacy.

—Pierre Tristam

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34 Responses for “Festival Filibuster: How Palm Coast Plays Hardball With Flagler Beach”

  1. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    Talk about spin! Instead of condeming PC for advertising THEIR festival, why not blame FB for NOT advertising theirs? It’s not Palm Coast’s job to advertise for other cities. Unbelievable!

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Hey new media (or fair minded or enlightenu or whatever your cowardly mask of the day happens to be) I know you find this site irresistible but perhaps you should hold yourself accountable and live up to your own pledge of delinking, though I understand if you can’t: once duplicitous, always duplicitous. Happy rails.

  2. Orion says:

    I would say, that this event, is just one item in a long list, where Palm Coast, “does not play well with others”..It starts at the top, as evidenced by The City Council calling out, the County Commission on many items,during Council meetings, and down to the Code enforcement area, being used to keep us roudy residents in line. ( no more than 2 tag sales/year) The City just turned down Florida Hospital-Flagler, for a request to put and electronic messaging board, in front of their scheduled to be larger facility, because, “electronic boards are a distarction to drivers” yet, they have large electronic boards, themselves, directing drivers to Town Center parking locations. on SR100, and Belle Terre.. I would think, that if they were distracting to hospital bound folks, they’d be distracting to other event drivers. I guess I could go on, but we are stuck with the bunch until Nov 2011..Good luck in changing anything until then..

  3. lawabidingcitizen says:

    That sign put a smile on my face as I drove down the ramp from I-95 yesterday.

    I live in Flagler Beach, so I’m all for Palm Coast hosting each and every “festival.” Even though I pay taxes in Palm Coast too, I’d be glad to fund signs pointing west for entertainments so we can be free of the frenzy of fun and frolic our foolish commissioners inflict on us, dancing as they do to the tune of the handful of downtown merchants while ignoring those of us who came here for peace and quiet and who, parenthetically, pay the tab for it all.


  4. NortonSmitty says:

    When I call Palm Coast “New Jersey with Rattlesnakes” I meant real rattlesnakes, but it looks like it fits the creatures running the place too!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Every special event held in palm coast are afforded the use of the special events signs at the 95 interchanges The artcle makes it sound as if these signs were placed at this intersection for the sole purpose of directing the public away from the Tommy Tant surfing competition. What a slanted way to report the news.I guess if there arent real issues we will just create them. Right? Makes good jounalism? Oh yeah I attended both events, and agree with Tom Tant, the event appeared to be a phenominal success just as always. The PC seafood did not appear to imapct it in the least.

  6. Joe says:

    Very slanted view Pierre!!!

  7. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    duplicitous: marked by duplicity : deceptive in words or action

    Well, Pierre YOU should understand the meaning of that word better than most. At the top of this page in your header it says: “No Bull. No Fluff. No Smudges”. We would be hard pressed to find two articles in which you were not smudging PC’s City Council or Manager. Calling my action of not delinking Duplicitous is pretty lame. I’ll admit, I’m obsessed with reading the bull and smudging against the City officials where I live. I keep promising myself I’ll delink because I get so annoyed with slanted media. I wish someone who could be truly unbiased would start a forum, that certainly is not you. And no, I am not enlightenu, evidently there are two of us who can see through your thinly disguised contempt for Landon and PC.

  8. wsh302 says:

    this whole article is really petty. someone i detect is jealous

  9. some guy says:

    While I do agree tha PC is the one who does not play well with others. I do noot see why PC should promote othe citys events. I also do not see that PC did not allow FB to put its own sighnage up at the exit of 95? It is just odd that some seem to think that this county can not have more then one event at a time I dont see how the two can not be sucsesfull do they really draw from the same group of limited people no.

  10. Barney Smythe says:

    Some Guy….Code enforcement must have taken them down! Why does PC feel the need to even put up direction signs? Most PCer’s know where the Town Center is.

  11. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    Barney: So, PC is not supposed to advertise when they have events? They are supposed to close the events to outsiders? OR, might it be good business sense to do whatever it takes to attract more participants. Why didn’t Flagler advertise? Perhaps they just assume the whole world knows when they have something going on?? I lived here 4 years before I even knew who Tommy Tant was and heard the sad story. All that means is … there is a lot of people …. enough to go around for two, three or four events. If you don’t like that PC has gotten so large, remember that when you need groceries, clothing, gifts or anything else you shop in PC for… When I moved here there were only 15000 people but I knew it was going to grow the realtors were very open about that. We looked at is as a way to buy a home reasonably priced at the time and then watch it grow in value as the city grew. I don’t think we were the only ones.

  12. rukiddingme says:

    I really don’t see a conflict. you had choices. go to Flagler Beach on Saturday and the Seafood Festival on Sunday. Maybe some folks didn’t want to spend a cold day at the beach. Seems like the start of pot stirring to me.

  13. JR says:

    I don’t think that Pierre had a problem with Palm Coast having a festival. The problem was that Palm Coast appears to be bent on running roughshod over everyone else in the county, including the County. Annexing like it’s going out of style, Palm Coast could learn a thing, or two, about politeness. The City of Palm Coast has made a point lately of taking things, particularly from Flagler Beach, and creating their own version to draw traffic from other communities. Think fireworks, yeah, I know that the traffic was terrible, the crowd mind bogglingly huge — especially for those with small children — but, the fireworks from the pier are — or, rather were — a county-wide tradition.

  14. notasenior says:

    This issue isn’t about pettiness, its about fairness. Palm Coast thinks their poop doesn’t stink but those of us on beach want to let you New Yowkas in on a little secret – no one likes you!

  15. Haw Creek Girl says:

    Oh, please. When I was a kid the only reason we went to Palm Coast was to fish in the salt water canals…there weren’t any houses yet…..only miles and miles of roads and empty lots. Flagler Beach was covered in conch shells any given day and my dad would drive us on the dune buggy from Snack Jacks all the way to the Rocks…! If I can welcome all of you to what WAS my paradise…..then, “why can’t we all just get along?”

  16. Barney Smythe says:

    To bad PC couldn’t even come up with an original idea. The better seafood vendors seem to be at the beach. Maybe because they’ve been doing it for years. So yes, there is a conflict.
    Glad to hear that those that whine the loudest about their taxes being to high, have enough disposable income to spend $8 on hockey puck crab cakes.

  17. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    Okay, let’s go and find out how many seafood festivals there are in this state or this country for that matter. Give me a break. There is room for everyone. Fireworks on the 4th of July, OMG … now that was an original idea tht FB had! PC has the same rights to treat its citizens to some celebrations, get used to it, the new kid on the block can have some fun too. Before all this, everyone was complaining there is never anything to do in PC… I love Flagler Beach but I love Palm Caost too, guess I should hang my head in shame!

    There is room for everyone not everything is about taking advatange or showing off, perhaps it’s about establishing their own footprint too.. if PC citizens are going out of town spending $ why shouldn’t the City make some $ off us too? Unebelievable.

  18. NortonSmitty says:

    Well, I can’t think of any less of a demographic conflict than these two events. The Tommy Tant Classic draws surfers, surfer fans and .wannabe’s and entrepreneurs who want to have their product associated with these groups.

    As far as I saw this afternoon, the Palm Coast Seefood event drew Realtors (TM) , and flies. The flies being outnumbered, probably because of the cold weather, or maybe the presence of all of those Realtors (TM). This is surprising, because these days, in Palm Coast (TM), Realtors (TM) are as close to road kill as you can get without venturing out to the yellow lines. Dead, decaying and wondering what hit them, they too wish they had chosen another road.

    Look, all of you greedy, parasitic, CoC following, Real Estate scamming, land-grabbing, swamp filling greed worshiping, Gordon Gekko wannabes designed this little slice of subdivision heaven just the way you wanted it. Sorry that you ran out of suckers before you ran out of land.l Sell, sell sell, Build build build, take the profits and move on.

    Oh, yea. You weren’t smart enough to move in time, your still here, so you obviously don’t work for St. Joes or FEC. Your the suckers that were sold on the fact that there would be lesser suckers down the road that were so dumb, even you could make a fortune off them.

    And there were for a while, but not any more. Sorry about that.

    Flagler Beach is a real TOWN, with people that choose to be here not for the investment potential, but because they love it here. Working people, retired, rich, old, hippies, rednecks, we all co-exist happily. We have something you never will, a real community. We were here before you were designed, we will be here when your gone. Except only you parisites will be gone, leaving the rest of the county Holly Hill North. Thanks.

    So keep trying to horn in on our style, our karma, spirit, feng-shui or traditions.. Whatever you want to call what we have that you covet so. Never gonna’ happen, you don’t have the class or heart to pull it off. Never will.

    Keep pretending your not, it’s all just a coincidence, but we know the truth, no matter how many phony events, or comments to this or any blog for that matter, You made your classless bed, lie in it.

    Oh, sorry, that wasn;

  19. Barney Smythe says:

    “Okay, let’s go and find out how many seafood festivals there are in this state or this country for that matter”

    Thanks for making my point. Overdone. Just like the crab cakes!

    Wonder how many cases of food poisoning the hospital got??

  20. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    Norton Smitty: you need to take a chill pill. Most of us who came here from somewhere else came because we loved what we saw and to you and your ancestors we are grateful. We came here to work and raise our children too. At least in Palm Coast, we mostly felt welcome because everyone was new to the area. Unfortunately we have all been subject to your exclusionary feelings as well. We don’t want to change Flagler Beach, we love it too. All this is really about the fact that PC named their festival a Seafood festival. I’m sure in hindisight, they would wish they had named it something else, AND it certainly was NOT what I think of as a SEAFOOD festival. But all this arguing is quite silly I think. there are plenty of people for both and different dynamics for both. I thought the food was too expensive too, but not unlike any festival I’ve ever gone to. I realize you said you’ve been here a long time, but at some point, someone in your family made the decision to settle in Flagler Beach, I hope when they came that the “natives” were more welcoming than you. Life is to short to get so upset over “stuff” … take a deep Flagler Beach ocean breath and be thankful.

  21. dilligaf says:

    I shop in daytona it is cheaper and you do not have to put up with the newyork–newjersey rude ass people !!!

  22. Citizen Says says:

    What a completely unneccesary “article” written, nay, fabricated for the sake of pushing a caustic personal agenda against the City of Palm Coast. Regarding the city’s coincidental (and nothing more) planning, scheduling and very normal signage of its festival, one can only hear the words of a Steve Martin character bellowing, “Well, excuuuussse ME!” Pierre, you’ve really become boringly transparent with your cloying muckracking. Your deliberate blindsided attack against the city is a thinly disguised propanganda piece (its arrogant to put up special event signs, really?) revealing more about your dogged obsession to rail against anything “Palm Coast”. As an intellectual, how about a little intellectual honesty here? If you really cared about our area, its success, culture, and atmosphere it creates for its residents, visitors and other interested parties, then why spew forth an “article” that belies truth, smears honest efforts, and nitpicks needlessly? Methinks sir, you have grown too big for your own britches with this one. Pity. No…… just petty.

  23. How Bout This Question??? says:

    So why is ti that the City of Palm Coast just turned down Florida Hospital Flagler for an electronic sign out by SR 100. They say it is advertising and a distraction. Yet, since Friday there were electronic signs anywhere that a road led to Town Center… Kinda hipocritical if you ask me… You can’t do it, but we sure will to advertise and promote our events…

  24. DRACOMACHINE says:

    We always would go to Flagler Beach for its events. It seems once the Town Center was built, there started to be some conflicts. I love Flagler Beach, I live in Palm Coast. We are a Tri-City (Bunnell, Flagler Beach, and Palm Coast) Most of us like two Fireworks Shows, Christmas Parades, and Festivals. I do not want to see any of the Special Events to change.

  25. Liana G says:

    The seafood festival was a ripoff. The $8. crabcake was more soggy breadcrumbs that crabmeat, and the $5. funnel cake like crispy fried worms. The $3. admission to purchase the food was even worse. Plus a dj too free with the use of ‘sons of b….’ phrase was a turnoff. If I’m still in PC next year, I’m definitely going to the one at Flagler Beach. Sorry PC – fool me once shame on you, fool me twice well you can’t fool me again (George Bush’s version)!

  26. Jennifer says:

    this thread is quite sad :( … Ive heard over and over how horrible PC is and how PC thinks thier ___ dont stink etc.. if I based all of FB’s opinion on the posts here I would think 1. You guys are really rude and hateful and 2. you dont like PC and want them as far away from you as possible. Yet most people from PC who commented here are saying they can (and want to) co exist with FB and they enjoy FB and its events. I went to the Tommy Tant event because that fit in more with what my family is into. I didnt get to go to the Seafood festival but after seeing some of the pictures the events didnt seem to have anything in common other than the date it was held. OPTIONS ARE GOOD AND THERE ARE ENOUGH PEOPLE TO GO AROUND!!!

  27. FB Love says:

    While I enjoyed reading this article because it reminded me of the Flagler Beach pride that I love so much, I can’t say that I agree with it 100 %. I have lived in Flagler Beach for 25+ years. I grew up here. It is my home. I agree that PC’s planning of events at the exact same time as ours is a bit rude (and that spreading events out would be better for them economically) but do we really care? I remember a time (and anybody who has lived here as long as I have will agree) when we used to complain about all of the “Palm Coasters” that would show up to our events, and it doesn’t make sense to complain about it now that they have something else to do. I actually think it is a good thing. Our little city used to live by the “locals only” motto (I remember it being painted on numerous dune walks along our shore). And while I wish I could still go to the dune walk at any given hour and know every single face on it, I also understand that in order for our town to exist, we NEED the “outsiders” that are willing to support us. Anybody who has Tommy, or even surfing or the beach, in their heart, knew what choice they were going to make this past weekend…all of the advertising in the world would not have changed our minds. The Tommy is a great event, and we have whole-heartedly embraced that it has gone from a mostly local event to include competitors and guests from all over the country, showing that we are not the same “local’s only” town that we used to be. It brings us people that have laid back personalities and love for the ocean. And, ultimately, those are the people that we really want around, anyway, no matter where they are from. So, I say, let Palm Coast do what they want, and let people make up their own minds. In the long run, Flagler Beach is a town with a ton of heart and we’ll always be alright.

  28. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    FB Love – Great post! I couldn’t agree more. From a Palm Coaster, thank you.

  29. Joe says:

    FB Love, thats how this article should have been written, maybe Pierre could could get some tips from you! I still wonder why he chose to slant it???

  30. palmcoaster says:

    Although we like and support the Palm Coast events in Town Center, we think that Flagler Beach and their events like Tommy Tant should have their signs as well directing all in 95 and around it, as being as important as the one from Palm Coast.

    We also see that is very unfair to us taxpayers and residents of Palm Coast that all events sponsored, funded by our taxes in advertising, insurance coverage cost, personnel etc. have been decided by Council and Landon to be held in Town Center only, benefiting the Town Center developer and the businesses located there only. We all have to hop in our cars to go to those events located several miles from the core of our City of Palm Coast.

    What about holding some of those events in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center and also in the pleasant European Village? Why do we allow City Manager Landon write its own policy benefiting only one entity, the Town Center developer? Why our elected City Council approve it? Sure the few businesses still open located in Palm Harbor and European Village will be blessed by any event promoted on their site. Also we the thousands of residents that live walking or biking distance from those two locations, would love to attend any event promoted by City of Palm Coast in Palm Harbor or European Village supporting also in this manner our so talked Green Policies (walk and bike).
    When we approach city officials with these ideas they come up with the excuse of not enough parking….? If the event will be promoted as a Green Event asking the nearby residents to walk or bike to it to free parking spaces for long distance attendees, they will more than gladly collaborate I know. Don’t even mention cost…because analyzing just the insurance cost to cover “the seafood festival walk around anywhere with your beer and wine on hand” other than the “restricted location for alcoholics” much less expensive, will speak for itself about the real cost of Town Center events funded by us all.
    Palm Harbor Shopping is in the very center of Palm Coast East of I 95, as well as European Village that was created with the idea of having and Old World shopping, eatery and entertainment at walking distance to most…these two centers sure pay a fortune in taxes to our City, if most will learn about this figures will be shocked!! They also need our support then. Why my tax dollars are only directed to Town Center’s developer? Very unfair to say the least!
    Our City and Chamber of Commerce still needs to be held accountable for the loss of our past original gorgeous Palm Coast Resort (former ITT Sheraton) gathering place for any community event official or private. Was the favorite attended place for the surrounding Palmcoasters, also over 300 jobs were lost with it. All based on a bunch of t-shirts drawing lies. Then now Palm Coast City officials need to spend some of our tax dollars advertising and promoting events in Palm Harbor and European Village showing at least some support to its residents and its businesses located here east of I 95 and maybe creating some of the jobs they help us lose in the past, by doing so. In this side of Palm Coast we are the forgotten one’s when it comes to public events. Excuse expressed as ” those are held at the Community Center of DBC amphitheater”….not attractive locations at all as one reminds us of the bitter at times city council meetings and the other as “a neglected unkept, restricted use DBC original arts” location donated as the site as well for the DBC by ITT, for us Palm Coast residents to enjoy, no more.
    As we no longer have our Palm Coast Resort (thanks to City and Chamber) sure we will enjoy a city promoted event seating at the nearby European Village and also Palm Harbor Shopping Center few times a year and will get there after a nice walk or pedaling if our Green policies will promote it that way. Lets be fair when it comes to the disbursements of our hard earned tax dollars, we the Palm Coast residents and local tax revenue generating businesses should benefit as well… Always advocating to have us fund potential newcomer businesses and we do not support our existing ones.
    Concerned Palmcoaster.

  31. New media needs to be held accountable says:

    While I love Palm Harbor Shopping – no way could that area handle the traffic. Nor culd European Village! I love EV but am so sad to see how unkempt is now is, it’s like a big old run down mess. So very sad. We used to go there all the time and loved it. Maybe if the Palm Harbor and EV vendors did make the trip, it would be good advertising for them? I disagree that they are not supporting local vendors by having stuff in Town Center, if you have gone to these events you know that no way could either of the two areas you suggest handle the traffic. People would never come back.

  32. bchside says:

    well said FB Love!

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