JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Oktoberfest and Music Festival starts Friday at Metro Park and the organizer said there will be even more security in place than originally planned to help ensure that people feel safe after the mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night.
Officials expect that between 10,000-20,000 people will head to Metro Park this weekend. The entire event will be fenced off, with only one entry point, near the side of the park near Gator Bowl Boulevard. Before people can head into the park for the event, they will first either go through a metal detector or be checked with a metal detecting wand.
The setup has already begun at Metro Park for the first-ever Florida Oktoberfest and Music Festival. Producer Charles Wagoner says keeping people safe is the top priority.
"We’ll have dozens of JSO officers present," Wagoner said "We'll have on-site security, and then we’ll have military veterans that will be here as well."
To keep security even tighter, Oktoberfest is adopting a bag policy similar to the Jaguars so you can have a clear bag that’s 12" x 12" x 6". Attendees who do not have a clear bag can have smaller bags, 6.5" long by 4.5" tall.
Tara Carroll and her husband are taking their one and three-year-old boys to Oktoberfest. They’ve looked forward to it for months but after the attack in Las Vegas, Carroll said she and her husband did reconsider, before deciding to attend.
"I would definitely say my husband and I talked it out because certainly, it comes to mind what could happen," Carroll said. "But we don't want to let one thing stop us from enjoying what we're doing as a family.
She was happy to learn of added security and is looking forward to a good time with her family in the city she loves.
Many bags are off limits.
There is another Oktoberfest event at the Seawalk Pavilion in Jacksonville Beach hosted by the same organizers next week.
The show's producer says to expect the exact same security measures for that event as well, bag restrictions, metal detectors and plenty of officers.