Surf Expo wrapped up Thursday evening ahead of Hurricane Irma’s path into Florida.
Despite storm watch preparations throughout the state, dedicated Surf Expo attendees were present at Wednesday’s Demo Day at Bill Frederick Park on Turkey Lake, as well as the shortened show on Thursday, which saw fairly busy traffic despite the current forecast. The one-day show capped off with the Wake Awards, which honored the indutry’s top brands, retailers and riders of the year.
“Our thoughts are with those already impacted or in the projected path of Hurricane Irma,” said Surf Expo Show Director Roy Turner. “Safety is always our first concern for all attending Surf Expo. For those who participated it was a productive day. Safe travel concerns for all was front of mind in making our decision to cancel. We look forward to seeing everyone in January.”
Surf Expo announced Tuesday it would adjust the schedule to omit Saturday, the final day of the show. On Wednesday, following weather forecasts that Irma would indeed impact the Orlando area, the show announced it would close down the show on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Many brands and retailers were present at the show, including Hurley, O’Neill, Body Glove, Quiksilver, Roxy, and Sun Bum. Reactions on social media were mainly positive, with many brands and show-goers expressing their disappointment the show couldn’t continue for its normal three-day span.
Meanwhile, preparations continue in southern and central Florida, as residents brace for Irma’s impact. Forecasters predict Irma will take a northern turn and move up the center of Florida, with it reaching the Orlando region by 2 p.m. Saturday, possibly as a Category 2 storm with maximum winds of 110 mph.
More from TRANSWORLD BUSINESS: