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Mayor wants to cancel annual pub crawl

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Updated: 6/18/2013 12:01 am

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla.-- Bringing back the 4th of July Fireworks celebration is top priority for Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham.

The show was canceled last year because of violence like the most recent Memorial Day brawl.

But to keep this holiday beach celebration family friendly, the mayor wants to get rid of one part of it.

"The pub crawl is contrary to what we are trying to accomplish and what signal we want to send to the community," said Latham.

Latham showed Action News a letter he plans to send to local bar owners asking them not to participate in the pub crawl.

"We made a commitment to the citizens of Jax Beach and the businesses of Jax Beach that we'd do everything in our power to make it a safe holiday and that's exactly what I intend to do," he said.

Pub crawl planner 904 Happy Hour said it's disappointed in the mayor's actions, calling the pub crawl a major boost for beach bars.

"The latest pub crawl, 'Putt n Crawl' ran smoothly. The 4th of July is a day for Americans to celebrate our freedom and independence and we feel as though people should be able to do so," they said.

Many beachgoers seem to agree.

"The pub crawl is an influential part of the beaches and the fourth for the bars as well as the people that do it and its really upsetting," said Monica Ruggiero, who lives at the beach.

One member of City Council agreed.

"We are targeting a business and asking them to turn away people," said City Councilwoman Christine Hoffman.

But one local man grabbed the floor at the council meeting and spoke from experience. Former Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Bruce Thompson supported the mayor's move.

"This is a situation that I can attest to from my former position. The pub crawls in general, not always but quite often, created additional problems for law enforcement and for citizens drivers throughout the downtown area," he said.

Action News reached out to several bars participating in the pub crawl. Blue Water Grill has already backed out of the crawl, and Ocean Grill says it is considering doing the same. 









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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Realchange - 6/18/2013 8:44 AM
0 Votes
Wonder if the police complain when they got give celebrities security for events. We should move to ban that as well, OR send the celebrity a security bill for police being there to protect them. Wait sec just common citizen voicing his opinion I forget my peon place in society. How many celebrity bills for security have you seen the city give out ? They want the city to grow economically but they don't want people drinking and walking can't hand out many tickets for DUI's if everyone is on foot as recreation then.

Truthseeker - 6/18/2013 5:29 AM
0 Votes
If the mayor's top priority is the Independence Day fireworks, then he isn't concentrating on the right things. I do agree that the Pub Crawl should not be sanctioned by the city in that it would be tantamount to the city government giving its blessing to a night of drinking - and probably driving under the influence.
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