Official wants end to Hoboken St. Patty's

March 9, 2009 3:44:31 PM PDT
There is a push to end a popular St. Patrick's Day parade in New Jersey.Hoboken's public safety director says it's not the parade itself that he has a problem with, it's the drunken and unruly behavior that follows it.

Hoboken celebrates St. Patrick's Day on the first Saturday of March. And this past weekend, several hundred people were arrested.

Bill Bergin says that people were urinating on the crowds below them, throwing bottles and being obviously drunk in the street.

Thousands of people cram into Hoboken for St. Patrick's Day, and Bergin says the drinking has gotten out of control and safety is compromised.

Locals have mixed feelings about the all-day event. Some say it is harmless fun and add that it is a great boost for area businesses. Bars, restaurants and stores clean up in profits from people ready to party. Some places have lines as early as 8 a.m.

Bergin wants the annual celebration canceled, but the outgoing mayor says hold on. Mayor David Roberts argues that you don't get rid of something that does so much for the city.

But officials say 379 summonses were handed out for open containers, public urination, outdoor consumption, disorderly conduct, overcrowded house parties and other offenses. Most of them carry a $1,000 fine.

Councilwoman Beth Mason, who hopes to be the next mayor, says the party can be managed and maintained. She says officials are trying to make sure the have the proper things in place to make the event safe for everyone.

---

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

USEFUL LINKS:
  • VIEWER PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

  • REPORT TYPO

  • GET WIDGET

  • EYEWITNESS TWITTER

  • FIND US ON FACEBOOK