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New rules for Pete's Thanksgiving celebration

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Updated: 11/27/2013 8:12 pm
NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla.-- The crowds and Bloody Marys are all part of a Thanksgiving tradition that's remained untouched for decades in Neptune Beach.

But this year, the city is enforcing some changes for Pete's annual celebration: no pets, no bicycles in the roped-off area, no skateboards or coolers, no large bags and no bringing your own alcohol.

"We want people to have a good time but we also want people to be safe," said Neptune Beach Mayor Harriet Pruette.

Pruette said the party has grown to such proportions in the last 30 years that police-enforced rules have become a necessity.

"Last year we had a few little things where a dog jumped up on somebody, and a skateboard got loose and things like that. It collectively all adds up," she said.

Some Thanksgiving celebration regulars said the changes are unreasonable.

"I think it's pretty bad you can't bring a bicycle because you already can't park within eight blocks of here. As it is a lot of beach folks live here," said Ken Sheldon.

Others say it's about time the big party got under control.

"I think it's good. We don't need to have a bunch of coolers, dogs and bikes running into people," said Mike Culp.

Pete's Bar reps say they are in support of making the celebration a safer experience for everyone and expect it to still be a good time.

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