JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - We're hearing from the mayor of Jacksonville Beach about why he's asking local restaurants and bars not to participate in the annual July 4th pub crawl this year.
We first told you on Jacksonville's Morning News Tuesday about Mayor Charlie Latham's request that local bars back out on the event on the grounds that it does not foster the family-friendly atmosphere they are trying to create at the festivities.
"It's geared towards families -- cotton candy, playgrounds, the whole nine yards," says Latham.
He says the previous city council nixed the July 4th fireworks because of crowds and alcohol and that part of the stipulation for bringing them back was that they had to be organized with a family-friendly environment in mind.
"We would work diligently to provide the best family-centered environment, that it wouldn't be a drink-fest, if you will."
He says this year there is a lot riding on the day going off without a hitch and that he's not opposed to having pub crawls at the beach in the future, just during the Independence Day festivities where they want to keep the focus on family.
"We're not condemning pub crawls, we're not calling them anything bad."
We asked Mayor Latham if the brawls that started along the boardwalk on Memorial Day had anything to do with his decision to ask restaurants and bars to back out on the pub crawl and he said it did not.
So far only Blue Water Island Grill has come out and said it will not be participating in the pub crawl.