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It’s not a party until the cops show up 

Score another one for the blue team, Mardi Gras is over, still, again. In 2005, SLO city leaders waged a war on Mardi Gras, and the ensuing drunken chaos, declaring: “The party is over.� This year they came back for round two with the ever clever message, “The party is still over.� But next year — year three without beads, boobs, and beer — what will the party be?

 If the SLO PD’s resoluteness is any sign, it could be something like this: “The party is still really over.�

 This year’s no-fun campaign was so successful, the city sent out-of-area personnel home early Saturday night, reducing the active force to its regular party night size. “Just what we wanted,� says Mayor Dave Romero, “a boring night.� And with no Super Bowl party at Camp SLO like last year, there was really probably no reason for the personnel to stick around. Mission accomplished.

 A measly 36 revelers were arrested last weekend, compared to 82 in 2005 and the daunting 206 arrests that were made during the now- infamous Mardi Gras 2004. So now that the fun is done, and the message is out across the state, as we’ve been told so many times, is a parade in the cards? Mayor Romero is giving it a big I-don’t-think-so, at least not next year. According to Romero, the kill Mardi Gras campaign has, and continues to be, a three-year deal, meaning next year on Mardi Gras you can expect to see more CHP officers outside Cold Stone Creamery, not eating ice cream, and more SLO PD officers sipping lattes at Starbucks.

  “I’m sure next year we’ll be able to dial [the police presence] down,� says the mayor, but the parade is unlikely. The fun, can it ever be again? “It was fun when it started out,� the mayor admits. “We have to be able to get back to that attitude — a fun, local event.�

 A glimmer of hope perhaps, pretty please Mr. Mayor Dave, the parade? “I’m not giving you a straight answer because I don’t know,� he says finally. Okay then. That’s it. The party is still really over.

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