Did city restrictions on drinking during Gasparilla help?

12:00 AM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- Hyde Park is quiet now, but it won't be for long. The pirate flags are up, the beads are out, the decorations hung, and the party known as Gasparilla is ready to begin.

But with the parade comes the debauchery; people urinating on lawns, trash strewn everywhere, and even vandalism and theft.

"Last year, my husband had to nail down the flagpole because people kept stealing our flag," said homeowner Tara Matthews.

Two years ago, the city changed the open container rules, confining libation consumption to the event area. No walking and drinking through the neighborhood, and no coolers. But did it help?

"Yes, I saw an improvement. We've lived here since 1994 and last year was much better," said homeowner Cynthia Copp.

10 News asked homeowners in Hyde Park if the new rules made things better, worse, or the same, and most agree it helped, but not by much.

"I think it's a great idea to stop all those things that you mentioned. It shouldn't happen here where there are children who can see it," said Matthews.

"The people who live here put up with it, but there is property destruction and a lot of craziness that I think is unnecessary for adults," said homeowner Andy Capp. 

Follow 10 News Reporter Charles Billi on twitter @Charles Billi

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