City Council gives thumbs up to return of Pete’s Bar Thanksgiving party

Pete's Bar is ready to reignite a tradition that's been a part of the community for nearly 40 years.

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – It’s back! A popular Thanksgiving event is returning to Neptune Beach this year.

Neptune Beach City Council voted unanimously Monday night to give Pete’s Bar the green light to throw its annual Thanksgiving celebration.

“It’s a tradition,” said Mayor Elaine Brown Tuesday morning. “It’s good to have something normal back. I am happy for the residents of Neptune Beach.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Pete’s Bar to cancel the party in 2020.

Pete’s Bar is ready to reignite the tradition that’s been a part of the community for nearly 40 years and typically draws hundreds to thousands of people on Thanksgiving morning.

Owners Tom and John Whittingslow sent city council members a letter earlier this month requesting they be allowed to host the event again.

In return, Neptune Beach City Manager Stefen Wynn sent the Whittingslows and three other business owners participating a letter granting permission for the event, tentatively. It was pending the city council’s decision.

The letter was sent Oct. 12 to the Whittingslows, and the owners of Island Girl Cigar Bar, Slider’s Seafood Grille and Southern Grounds & Co.

Now approved, all involved will have to abide by 26 conditions.

Some of the conditions include posting signs at each entry listing prohibited items, noise must be kept at a minimal level, no amplified sounds are allowed, the streets must be cleared and ready to open for traffic by 2 p.m. and the business owners are responsible for making sure the area is clear of debris once the celebration is over.

This year’s celebration will be Thanksgiving Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

First Street from Atlantic Boulevard to Orange Street will be shut down until 2 p.m. that day.

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