This year’s Lepre-con for any observer had the following characteristics from TheBoken.com’s and other Hoboken citizen’s observations:
- It was slightly less attended overall than last year’s inaugural event. The streets were overall less crowded than last year.
- It started later in the afternoon than last year.
- It was contained largely from downtown to 6th Street although some Lepre-con revelers were uptown as well.
- The house parties were an issue this year but there was not a line at the beer distributor downtown on Saturday morning according to a source as has been custom.
- There were bake sales with parents and children all throughout town which indicates the parents that participated felt it was safe for their children to be out unlike when we last had the parade in 2011 when many parents feared for the children’s safety.
- There was the usual vandalism. At least two businesses on Washington Street had their window smashed including Ash Cigars who suffered damage to their Native American wood statue as well.
- The only area of mischief that was up this year from last year was public urination. Perhaps it was the cold or fewer Porto-potties? One of the funnier moments can be summarized with this tweet of an incident at Tunes on Washington Street:
- There was without a doubt some crazy behavior as people got more and more inebriated but overall the numbers are down as shown in the chart below….
Note: The 2013 Calls for Ambulance Service are based on the total as of 11pm Saturday as reported on Hoboken Patch. The final total could be higher.
The decision in 2011 to have the parade moved to a Wednesday by Mayor Dawn Zimmer and then have the Parade Committee cancel it for the last two years, has its critics but the majority of citizens TheBoken.com has spoken to that own property are glad to see the number of incidents go down. Some would like to see further reductions and hold the bar owners accountable for the overtime for an event now promoted by mainly the downtown bars.
In case you were curious: This is not the first time bar owners interests and that of the citizens of Hoboken have clashed. Back in 1993 a Hoboken City Council meeting got out of hand when bar owners showed up and vehemently protested moving the closing time of bars up and other restrictions like a one-way door at 1am. Below is a link to the video and a blurry video capture of one bar owner being detained by police….
Link to Video: Hoboken Bar Owner Outburst at 1993 City Council Meeting
Bar Owners have a right to promote their businesses in a responsible manner. The State of New Jersey, The ABC Board, The Mayor of Hoboken and the Hoboken City Council have certain powers of oversight and enforcement to ensure that a balance is struck between the needs of commerce and community. I feel it is important to strike the proper balance between the two and as such disagreements are likely to occur. That’s democracy folks.
I don’t like the vandalism, and the violent behavior of some big events years past. Who does? I also don’t want Hoboken to turn into a dry town either like Ocean Grove, NJ. Hoboken is a city not a suburban enclave. As long as Hoboken has as many bars as it does there will always be some rowdiness that will have to be dealt with the authorities. The key should be to mitigate the bad and celebrate the good which from time to time means a few people will inevitably drink a bit too much. As for the comeback of the parade, I feel there should be a real dialogue but nothing more. Start there and we will see what happens.
- The Boken