NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -- Pete's Bar is back and better than ever, just like the costumes. People came ready to eat turkey legs and wear them to celebrate what seems to be a merging of Thanksgiving and Halloween. The festivities opened at 9 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m.
The bar and the city of Neptune Beach reached a solution after months of talks threatened to keep the 30-year long annual event from going on. It's always been popular with thousands of people crowding the street in front of the bar, so the city wanted Pete's to add security. It would have cost owners $7,000 so they asked the city to help. After initially saying no, the city picked up the tab to provide police officers to patrol the street and for barricades.
Pete's bar paid for 10 security officers, and they're enforcing new rules for safety, forbidding pets, bikes, bringing your own alcohol and more. Co-owner Nancy Campbell, the great-granddaughter of Pete Jensen who opened the bar 80 years ago, said she doesn't think the new rules and increased safety will keep things from being fun.
"I don't think it's affected anything," she said. "The city is being proactive, which is great. They've been supportive of Pete's throughout the years as we have them, and I think the mayor made good calls and we are happy to oblige.