JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The annual Pete's Giving event in Neptune Beach on Thanksgiving Day will have some famous visitors this year — the Budweiser Clydesdales.
The Neptune Beach City Council unanimously approved plans for the event, which will require the closing of First Street between Atlantic Boulevard and Orange Street from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. As holiday revelers mill in the street, eight Clydesdales will be in the nearby roundabout at the foot of Atlantic Boulevard, where people can greet the horses and take photos.
"I don’t know about anyone else, but one of my all-time favorites," Mayor Elaine Brown said about the Clydesdales.
Pete's Bar is teaming up with Slider's Oyster Bar, Southern Grounds & Co. and Island Girl Cigar Bar to put on the event. The council's approval came with 27 conditions, which include submitting a $1 million insurance policy and cleaning the streets by 2 p.m.
Pete's has been a Beaches institution for 89 years, the first bar in Duval County to open after Prohibition was repealed. It was owned by the same family for generations before being sold late last year. Little has changed under the new ownership, other than the end of smoking in the bar.
The Thanksgiving event was held for 35 consecutive years before being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. It resumed last November.
Anheuser-Busch plans to hitch a team of eight Clydesdales on Thanksgiving morning in the Publix parking lot in Neptune Beach. At 10 a.m., the team will travel, with a police escort, to the roundabout, where they are scheduled to stay until noon.
The festival site is near the Seahorse Oceanfront Inn and the Lemon Bar, both of which were recently purchased by Jaguars owner Shad Khan and his Iguana Investments Florida firm. Khan has not announced plans for the site.