Sunday, February 10, 2002

Mardi Gras fest draws bigger crowd

By Howard Wilkinson and Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — MainStrasse Village's Mardi Gras celebration saw bigger crowds — but relatively few problems — on Saturday night.

        A force of about 40 Covington Police officers working the two-day event were bracing for 11:30 p.m. Saturday — when sales in the beer tent were scheduled to be cut off.

        By 11 p.m., police said they had made a half-dozen misdemeanor arrests for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

        Friday night, after beer sales stopped, police were busy. Throughout Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday, police made 34 arrests and issued a handful of citations — all for misdemeanor offenses.

        Warm weather brought out an estimated crowd of 20,000 Friday evening. Police said the crowd of partygoers was bigger on Saturday, although no official count was available.

        By 11 p.m. Saturday, there were long lines outside the bars and restaurants of MainStrasse Village and at the beer tent.

        The first arrests Saturday night came shortly before 10 p.m. when three unidentified men were arrested for public intoxication behind the Strasse Haus on Main Street.

        Lt. Col. Jim Liles said most of the arrests Friday night were due to three large fights.

        Police said the night was calm until 11:30 p.m., shortly after the party tent closed. The last arrest of the night came shortly after 3 a.m.

        There were several people injured in the fights, including one man who had half his nose bitten off, police said.

        Lt. Col. Liles said arrests reflected the “zero tolerance“ policy adopted by police.

        Unruly crowds prompted the cancellation of the 2001 Mardi Gras celebration in Covington's MainStrasse Village.


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- Mardi Gras fest draws bigger crowd