Indian Rocks Beach golf cart owners line up with their machines at the first golf cart rally in Kolb Park
INDIAN ROCKS BEACH – “Real happy” is the way Dave “Hippy” Laramee described the first-ever golf cart rally in Indian Rocks Beach.
Laramee organized the rally on Sept. 26 to bring golf cart owners in the city together.
“It is just a fun community event for people who own a golf cart,” he said. “Indian Rocks is a golf-cart friendly community but there are rules we have to abide by and this is a way to get together and review those rules and have some fun doing it.”
Indian Rocks Beach residents are allowed to drive their golf carts on city streets. They are not allowed to drive on Gulf Boulevard, but they can cross Gulf Boulevard to get to the beach accesses. Golf carts can drive on Gulf Boulevard if they are upgraded to include such things as brake lights, directional signals and windshield wipers among other things. Then they must be licensed.
“We are using the rally as a way to give out literature so owners know what they have to do to make their carts legal,” said Laramee.
The day after the rally Laramee said he was happy with what happened.
“We had a total of 17 golf carts at the rally,” he said. “There were some cart owners who didn’t know what they had to do to become street legal, we were glad to help.”
He also noted a number of curious onlookers who showed up.
“There were lots of spectators, they took their time and looked over the carts, and it was good.”
The event was held in Kolb Park, across from City Hall. Indian Rocks Beach resident Mike McGlaughlin drove up in his golf cart with praise for the event. “Yeah this is a good idea,” he said. “We need to get together. I use my cart to get around town quite a bit. I’d even use it to get to the grocery store, if we had one,” he said facetiously.
Rally organizer Laramee uses his cart a lot too.
“To give you an idea we used to fill up our jeep three times a month,” he said. “Now that we use the golf cart all the time we only fill up once a month. Electric is part of the way to the future.”
Laramee said he charges his cart twice a month and it only cost three dollars in electricity each time. He also lauded the way the carts operate.
“They are efficient and they are very quiet,” he said. “They are cost effective and economically efficient and we buzz around town all the time.”
Two of the carts at the rally were decorated by their owners and both won awards from the newly formed group. Laramee hopes there will be more of that in the future including mass participation in the annual Holiday Parade in December. For sure he says there will be more rallies.
“We’re already planning our next one for the third Wednesday in October,” he said. “If that one is as successful as this one then we’ll have another after that.