NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. -- Gathering at Pete's Bar is a Thanksgiving Day tradition that draws in thousands of people each year. That tradition is now up in the air.
"It's a staple here at the beach and it needs to continue period," said Neptune Beach resident Rodman Crenshaw.
Crenshaw has spent Thanksgiving Day at Pete's Bar for years and he, like many other locals, hopes this year, the tradition will continue.
"Pete's at thanksgiving is just one of those traditions that the neighborhood gets together for. It has a lot less to do with drinking and getting drunk than it does coming together, thankfully, camaraderie with all of our neighbors and friends. It's just a good time," said Steven Dewhurst, another Neptune Beach resident.
The Thanksgiving Day party here at one of Duval County's oldest bars has been going strong for nearly three decades. That's why owners were shocked when they called to apply for a permit and heard what the state had to say.
"We were told by state officials that it wouldn't be issued and the permits that were issued previously were issued in error," said Tom Whittingslow.
Word spread quickly, and when Mayor Harriet Pruette learned what happened, she said she got a state representative involved to try to make sure the Thanksgiving Day party would go on.
"For Neptune Beach, for our small businesses, it's a tremendous amount of money in a short time and it's needed in today's times. It's a benefit to them plus it's become a tradition through the years," said Pruette.
A tradition Whittingslow believes will continue this Thanksgiving.
"We got a call today from the state office of ABT and it appears they are going to move to make it happen for us and there's a way to make it legal and they're working in that direction now."
First Coast News