Jacksonville Beach mayor wants beach businesses to end pub crawls

Mayor Charlie Latham says pub crawls lead to trouble

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - The Mayor of Jacksonville Beach is looking ahead to the Fourth of July and asking businesses there not to participate in events, like pub crawls, that are centered around alcohol.

Mayor Charlie Latham is asking businesses not to participate in a pub crawl this year, the event involves drinking at several area bars and the Mayor said it only leads to trouble.

"Excessive drinking, fights, DUI's, all led to Jacksonville Beach town leaders canceling Fourth of July fireworks last year," said Latham.

Latham believes an upcoming pub crawl advertised on Facebook for the Fourth of July will only magnify the situation he wants to prevent.

Pub crawls are where people can get discounted drinks while hopping from one bar to the next.

Next week, Mayor Latham plans to send a letter to bars asking them not to participate in the pub crawls.

"We're asking the businesses to partner with us. Let's do this safe, careful and for families," said Latham. "If we do that and we are successful, we can continue this year by year."

Businesses said that pub crawls are big money makers. One bar manager said just one pub crawl even can bring in thousands of dollars to her business.

"I think we need to be more concerned about what happens outside the bars, instead of what happens inside the bars," said Jeana Scrrato, Manager of Blue Water Island Grill. "We need to have more police presence for such big events like this."

There were mixed opinions Friday night on the streets of Jacksonville Beach.

"If people want to drink, they are going to drink. I don't think stopping the pub crawl is going to stop them from drinking," said one Jacksonville resident.

"We still want people to come to Jacksonville and enjoy Jacksonville, and we don't want the message to get out that you cannot bring your children here to vacation here," said Jacksonville resident Chelesia Jones.

The mayor said he will get the city council's approval on the letter before he passes it out to beach businesses. Latham told Channel 4 he plans on presenting his letter to the council on Monday.

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