Updated:DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —
Daytona Beach is playing host to thousands of college kids in town for an annual tradition.
"Dayton to Daytona" brought nearly 3,000 University of Dayton students from Ohio to central Florida for the tradition's 36th year.
Some students told Channel 9's Blaine Tolison that their parents came to the event in their college days.
For the next five days they will keep area businesses and lifeguards busy.
"My favorite thing is probably just the environment," said student Rosah Hill. "It's like 3,000 of your best friends coming down on vacation together."
"There's a lot of activities. There's free beer for two hours on the pool deck and every night we just go out to the local bars," said student Nick Dolecki.
Those parties on hotel pool decks will spill into area restaurants and bars.
One college student told Tolison she spent $300.
One of four hotels housing Dayton students said 200 rooms are being used by the students. Four students to a room means there are 800 students at that hotel.
"The hotel actually does a good job of keeping it contained, which is good. It does get a little rowdy at night sometimes," said Nick Dolecki, referring to the party atmosphere.
On the sand, Volusia County Beach Patrol is keeping an eye on the thousands of students coming and going. Last year, lifeguards rescued a few dozen of them.
"Right now, we're just worried about the crowds and keeping the alcohol off the beach and keeping anybody that's intoxicated out of the water," said Capt. Tammy Marris of the Volusia County Beach Patrol.
Law enforcement officials said that so far the Dayton to Daytona crowd has caused any serious problems.
Dayton to Daytona runs through Sunday -- Mother's Day. Beach Patrol officials said the visitors from Ohio combined with the expected holiday crowd means it will be a busy weekend on Volusia County beaches.