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Extra security helps ease minds of Florida Oktoberfest attendees

Organizers add more security measures in wake of Las Vegas attack

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The 2017 Florida Oktoberfest and Music Festival kicked off Friday night at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, featuring bands, foods and more security.

Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, organizers promised to add police officers to make sure people felt safe. 

"I think they have to. I think it's a comforting thought, as you go in, to know that you're being watched," said Rob Bottoms, who was attending Oktoberfest. "It's a comfort thing, you know?"

RELATED: Safety ramped up for Florida Oktoberfest after Las Vegas attack

Officials expect that between 10,000 and 20,000 people will head to Metro Park this weekend. Early Friday evening when people began to file in, going through the security measures, many told News4Jax that the Las Vegas attack was on their minds, but they won't stop attending events like this. 

"It seems like they got it down pretty good here," said festivalgoer Kyle Yester. "They got security and all that. (I'm) just here to have a fun time."

News4Jax spoke with one of the extra security officers, who was added to the event a couple days ago. The additional security officers seemed to make a difference to some of the patrons, even while the shooting is not forgotten. 

"I think these days, you need to be concerned," attendee Brian Meyer said. "But it's not going to stop me from coming out here and enjoying an evening."

Many people at Oktoberfest had similar thoughts.

"We lived through two hurricanes, so I'm going to come out and enjoy myself and have some fun," Katie Bottoms said.

Leo Dennis said it was a "no-brainer" for him to come out to Oktoberfest.

"I wanted to come and support some of my friends who are performing tonight in the band," Dennis said. "But also wanted to let people know that I'm not afraid to take chances because life is a chance when you walk across the street."

One of the vendors at the festival told News4Jax that they had no concerns about being at the event this weekend. 

The three-day superfest runs through Sunday. For more information on the Florida Oktoberfest, click here.


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