One of New Jersey's most popular St. Patrick's Day parades may be back next year.

Hoboken canceled the parade 11 years ago after a rash of bad behavior and public drunkenness.

The controversial 'Leprecon' bar crawl took over, and the public debauchery only got worse. Police issued hundreds of summons and made dozens of arrests as drunken pub crawlers caused a myriad of problems. It go so bad, many residents say they left town over St. Patrick's Day.

Now, a group of local business leaders is trying to resurrect the parade, but with a much more family feel.

The Hoboken Business Alliance is taking a very cautious approach, not wanting to open the door for bad elements.

As part of any parade plan, businesses would have to agree not to participate in "Leprecon."

Hoboken residents are being asked to take an on-line survey for their thoughts on any festivities.

Among the poll's questions:

  • If the Hoboken Business Alliance were to reintroduce the Hoboken St. Patrick's Day parade, at no additional cost to taxpayers, on the first Saturday of March, would you be in favor?
  • If the parade were to return, with the stipulation that no bars or restaurants were participating in the "Leprecon" bar crawl that has in recent years taken place on the first Saturday in March, and that it would be a family-friendly parade, would you be in favor?
  • If the Hoboken Business Alliance were to introduce a family-friendly parade, and without bars participating in the "Leprecon" bar crawl, would you be more likely to patronize businesses in town on the first Saturday of March?

The poll will be accepting answers until November, and then the results will be presented to Mayor Ravi Bhalla and the Hoboken City Council.

Bhalla is also taking a cautious approach, and has not committed to reviving the parade. His spokeswoman telling the Jersey Journal he will make an "informed decision" based on public input.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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