Revelers Swarm Miami Beach for Memorial Day Weekend Festivities

Revelers crowded Miami Beach for the third day in a row as Memorial Day Weekend festivities continue.

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    Revelers crowded Miami Beach for the third day in a row as Memorial Day Weekend festivities continue. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos has the story. (Published Saturday, May 24, 2014)

    Thousands of scantily-clad revelers have descended upon Ocean Drive the yearly Memorial Day party that takes over Miami Beach.

    Many party-goers have flown in to South Florida from other parts of the country and the world to join in on the festivities that started Thursday night.

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    "Memorial Day on South Beach is alive, it's amazing," said a woman named Nattae, who has flown in from Georgia for the last three years. "You have the people, the celebs right here on Ocean Drive. Everything is jumping."

    While the crowds seem a little thinner than they have been in previous years, police officers have kept a watchful eye over the city.

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    So far, police say arrests are down compared to last year; and so is the number of service calls. Both arrests and calls are down by nearly half and they said they hope to keep it that way.

    On day 1, Miami Beach Police reported 27 arrests compared with 55 last year. On day 2, the numbers rose slightly with police reporting 56 total arrests compared to 86 last year. The offenses have included battery, DUI, and drugs.

    For the first time, Miami Beach Police unleashed a brand new mobile command center. The center is strategically positioned at 5th and Ocean and police have eyes and ears everywhere. Barricades and new traffic routes went into effect to control crowds and officers on bikes, golf carts and motorcycles have been out in full force.

    But the increased police presence hasn't kept the party from dying down. Many said the police presence is actually encouraging return visitors.

    "I don't mind for them to protect us if that's what it's going to be," visitor Keywana Stevens said. "I didn't have complaints last year, I loved it."

    Parts of Miami Beach were completely shut down, including roads and businesses. South Beach clubs like Mokai and Set announced on their Facebook pages that they would be closed for the weekend. But visitors said there's no shortage of things to do on the beach this weekend.

    "King of Diamonds is first of all, then LIV at the Fontainebleau, and we have to get on the beach, have to," Stevens said.

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