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Mixed reviews over Hoboken's Lepre-Con celebration

March 3, 2012 8:16:03 PM PST
There were large crowds for Hoboken's first "Lepre-Con" celebration and the city had 250 police officers on the streets for the event.

The spirits flowed at Maxwell's Grill as dozens crammed into the bar to celebrate, but owner Dave Post says last year he would have had hundreds trying to get in.

"This year is nothing compared to last year. It's pretty thin," Post said.

Thin because Hoboken officials canceled their annual St. Patty's day parade, which attracted tens of thousands, citing issues with disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

This year security is tight and police are everywhere.

"So, far we're just maintaining control and that's all we ask for," Police Chief Anthony Falco said.

Inside Billy Johnson's liquor store, Max the golden retriever has full reign because customers aren't coming in to buy.

Johnson blames the mayor for that.

"She can forget about being reelected because she canceled the Hoboken St. Patty's Day Parade," Johnson said.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer defended the decision, saying businesses still had plenty of customers.

"I live in this neighborhood, so far I haven't seen the public urination, the drunkenness that we saw last year," Mayor Zimmer said.

While city officials have yet to remove the painted green stripe marking the old parade route, most say they're enjoying the celebration nonetheless, even if there is no marching band.

"You can take away the parade in Hoboken, but you can't take away the party," one reveler said.

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