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Pensacola city officials today announced the addition of a “family friendly zone” at the city’s Mardi Gras celebrations.

City officials said Tuesday that they will ask paradegoers to refrain from using alcohol and tobacco products within the North Palafox Street median between Gregory and Garden Streets. Signage will be posted in the area to remind attendees of these guidelines, officials said.

“Pensacola has a strong tradition of family friendly celebrations,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “This is a great option for families to enjoy the festivities in a more family-centered location.”

The move comes after Pensacola resident Nichole Colony pressed officials to establish such an area and rallied support for the idea through social media. “I am beyond excited,” Colony said Tuesday. “I have gone to the Pensacola parades ever since I was a child, it was always a family friendly event. Recently it has become more of a party, which I get, but I want my kids to experience the parades of Pensacola without the smoking and drinking. This is wonderful news for Pensacola!”

The Krewe of Lafitte Illuminated Mardi Gras Parade will take place on Friday, February 5 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Pensacola’s Grand Mardi Gras parade rolls on Saturday, February 6 beginning at 2:00 p.m.

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