HOBOKEN - Hoboken has instituted a zero tolerance policy for public intoxication ahead of its annual St. Patrick’s Day event. 

The streets of the city will be symbolically green this Saturday as thousands head there to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little early.

The Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Celebration takes place March 7 with over 20 of the city’s bars participating in the event. It is traditionally held on the first Saturday of March every year.

The event has been mired by controversy. It used to be sponsored by Hoboken, coupled with a St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  The parade was canceled in 2012 after problems with too much public intoxication and reports of several sexual assaults.

Earlier this week, Hoboken officials placed signs throughout town warning of the zero tolerance policy against public intoxication. Violators are subject to of up to $2,000 and community service for any disorderly conduct.