Lorain increasing security for RoverFest

LORAIN -- A huge outdoor music festival featuring national performers will be held in Lorain Saturday.

Last year RoverFest was in downtown Cleveland, and it made national headlines when kidnapping survivor Amanda Berry made her first public appearance since escaping years of captivity.

Some Lorain residents have concerns about security, and if there is an effective plan in place to keep the crowd of up to 15,000 under control.

"There's residences all around here, it's going to be in our backyard, and the parking is going to be in our back yard, all the 'F' words," says a longtime Lorain resident who didn't want to be identified and is also concerned about the possibility of damage to property. "And to possibly have concertgoers urinating in the park or vomiting."

Other home and business owners will likely see an economic benefit by offering their properties for paid parking. Hotels, restaurants as well as other retailers in and around the city could see a boost in business.

Mayor Chase Ritneauer tells Channel 3 News he's thinking about the long-range perspective. If Lorain can accommodate the crowd, this could create exposure and draw more of these larger events downtown.

The Lorain Police Department has a plan in place to keep patrons and residents safe. Additional officers will be on duty patrolling festival grounds and elsewhere, so will auxiliary officers and RoverFest security.

"Can I say definitively that nothing's going to happen? No I can't say that," says Captain Roger Watkins. "But we've taken every step we can to ensure everybody's safety and to keep law and order."

Lorain has held other large events like the annual International Festival but comparatively believes RoverFest will have more people consuming alcohol. Hospitals are also on high alert, too.

The event will be held at Black River Landing, and tickets are sold out.


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