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Increased security for Tucson Pride Festival

Posted at 3:23 PM, Sep 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-28 21:34:21-04

Tighter security will be in place Saturday at Reid Park for the 39th annual Tucson Pride Festival. 

Wednesday morning, contractors made final measurements for security fences and gates crews will install at the park. The head of a private security firm mapped out where guards will frisk people and check bags.

Tucson Pride President John Foley says because of the attack at a gay night club in Orlando this summer security this year will be the tightest it has ever had.

“Everybody's safety is the foremost thing on my mind. Before the entertainment, before the food trucks, before those gates open, I need to know that everybody is going to be safe,” he said.

The extra security measures include frisking people as they enter along with thorough bag checks. Outside food, drinks, even empty containers won’t be allowed. Foley says the only exception will be for dietary reasons such as baby formula or milk, and medication for people with diabetes.

Foley expects at least 10,000 people to attend. Volunteers and staff wearing conspicuous shirts will patrol, looking for anything suspicious, along with plain clothes guards. 

Tucson police officers will also present to monitor the crowd.

The festival begins at noon and runs until 9:00.