DAVENPORT, Iowa- More safety precautions are being taken at the Mississippi Valley Fair. Organizers say they’ll do whatever they can.
Violence at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California that killed three over the weekend played a role in the changes. Mississippi Valley Fair organizers will have more officers to start.
“We’re tightening up the gates, we’re gonna start wading people, and checking for weapons and knives and stuff like that, ” says fair manager Shawn Loter.
This year, the Mississippi Valley Fair is expecting more than 300,000 guests to walk through their gates. After shots killed two children and a man– wounding 12 others at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco bay area. Fair manager Loter says that’s a scenario they’re hoping to prevent here.
“Especially a six year old boy that’s just tragic you know and our prayers go out to their families because its just a sad thing that people have to go through.”That six year old was Stephan Luciano Romero of San Jose.
Some fair goers captured the moment the crowds went running.
Gilroy police quickly shot and killed the gunman, 19 year old Santino Legan.
“You just never know and i want people to feel safe when they come on the fairgrounds so we’re going to do what we can to take those precautions,” says Loter.
Inside the gates, they’ll be adding about 15 extra officers. As well as adding an emergency aisle at the concert venues.
This year also marks the hundredth anniversary of the Mississippi Valley Fair, which is another reason why security will increase.
The fear of violence is something they’re hoping to ease. The fair manager stating, “we try to take that off those peoples minds to where they can come here and feel safe and have fun with their families.”
Loter says he’s feeling pretty confident. He adds, “my security here is pretty good, and they’re right on top of it.”
He is advising guests to show up earlier to the fair as the safety checks will make the process of entering the fair a lot longer. Loter wants to remind people that knives, guns, fireworks– anything that can be a weapon, is not allowed on the fairgrounds. Measures will be taken for those who disobey that rule.