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City: Costumed hosts will not violate ban

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Updated: 1/13 9:12 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. George Street is expected to be packed with people next year as the city of St. Augustine celebrates its 450th anniversary.

Public Affairs Director Paul Williamson said, "We have a lot of folks here anyway. We anticipate more and more people, and we really want to show that we are hospitable and want to help them enjoy St. Augustine."

One way he said the city plans do that is by hiring hosts dressed in period costumes to help tourists find their way around town.

"It really makes them stand out," he said. "And anyone who has visited St. Augustine, you'll notice that when you see person in period dress, you're more likely to approach them and say 'Hey, can we have your photo?' Or 'Hey, do you know where the restrooms are?"

But Action News wanted to know, could these so-called hosts be considered street performers, breaking the ban enacted last year?

Williamson said no.  "As long as we're strictly providing information, we think it will be fine," he said.

While it's unclear exactly how many tourists are expected at the 450th, Williamson said St. Augustine is already busy. He said the Visitors Information Center hosted more than 45,000 visitors last year and had more than 318,000 vehicles park in the adjacent garage.
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