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New security measures taken as Lilac Festival draws close

(WHAM photo)

The Lilac Festival begins in two days, and given problems in recent years, there are new rules for kids and teens attending the festival.

Video from social media captured moments after a fight broke out at the festival last year.

No injuries or damage were reported, but it was just one more incident that prompted event organizers to take action.

“Anybody that's 16 or younger has to be escorted by a parent, guardian or responsible adult who is 21 years old, or over,” Jeff Springut, the festival producer, explained.

Springut says that responsible adult can bring up to five kids.

The security team at the festival will be asking for IDs.

“The policy is at the discretion of the security people at the door, and it runs the whole day of the festival, through the festival, “ Springut added. “So anybody that's 17ish or so would certainly need ID to show security people.”

And if security finds teens without their adult supervisor, they will hold the teens at the entrance until the adult is found.

Many folks say this is good for safety, and also a good way to help families have a plan if someone gets lost.

“It helps keep everybody in tact, so everyone can get a hold of each other,´ Lorie Oberst said.

As vendors and attendees gear up for the festival, they say they're looking forward to a safer environment for all.

“I feel like in a way it's more safer, they're not gonna have random kids without adults running around,” an ice vendor Donnie Housted said.

“Everyone's concerned right now about safety, and so to keep it friendly for the families and to keep events at a good posture, great avenue and approach to take,” Bob Oberst, another attendee, said. “I think it's something we're gonna get used to at other events.”

If someone 16 or younger tries to get into the festival without a guardian, organizers say they will be turned away. Organizers advise everyone attending to charge their cell phones, so it will be easy to find your teen if you get separated. In that case, they will be held at the entrance with security.

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