Beaches prepare for Fourth after Memorial Day brawl | News
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Fireworks are returning this year at the Beaches after being suspended last year because of crowd problems the year before.
This week, a Memorial Day brawl on the boardwalk created chaos for a short time following fights and a huge crowd that gathered throughout the day.
"We are hoping the people who come to be with us bring their manners with them," said city councilman Tommy Taylor, who expects a big crowd at the council's next meeting on Monday.
Taylor said Jacksonville Beach is already working on ways to better move traffic following the fireworks display.
Jacksonville Beach Police Chief Patrick Dooley said arrangements have been made with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for additional support on the Fourth.
Dooley said his officers are still piecing together the events that lead up to the chaos on Memorial Day. The police chief says there is no evidence that guns were displayed during the boardwalk brawl.
Taylor said Jacksonville Beach is planning to host a family environment during the day with a shorter than normal display of fireworks capping the day.
He said what happens on the Fourth could very well determine future fireworks at the Beaches.
"This will be grounds to see if we have them in the future," said Taylor, who just wants people who come to the beach to enjoy themselves but also bring their manners with them.
One beach businessman is printing T-shirts to promote the idea of being responsible when you come to the beach.
Mark Braddock, who sells clothing, designed a shirt with the slogan, "Take Back Jax Beach."
Braddock said his message is that he wants everyone to enjoy the beaches, but added "People should know who to act properly out here at the beach. This is a place for families, families and kids not a place for riots."