Rivers And Spires Festival Opens With Heightened Security - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Rivers And Spires Festival Opens With Heightened Security

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by Chris Cannon

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The 11th Rivers and Spires Festival opened Thursday afternoon in downtown Clarksville. After the recent bombings in Boston, security at the festival is on heightened alert.

Bands took the stage on public square for the first night on the festival. Weather forced the early start and end to Thursday night activities.

Before rain moved in, festival goers enjoyed the festival that started in downtown Clarksville back in 2002.

The bombings in Boston happened just four days before Rivers and Spires, and forced organizers to re-group.

"You'll find security everywhere," said Doug Barber.

Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies had K-9 officers walking around the festival. The Clarksville Police Department had a watch tower to give them a clear view of everything taking place on the festival ground.

It is all part of the festival's heightened alert.

"We sat down and met with Homeland Security and had a full-fledged meeting about what are some of the things, what if this happened. But we already had a an emergency plan in place, it's just we had to extend it with what had happened," Barber explained.

He said none of the extra measures will affect the festival and the tradition of fun at Rivers and Spires.

"On Saturday night we've go Jo Dee Messina, and plus we've got over a hundred entertainers on all five stages. So there's going to be something for everyone to do," Barber said.

The festival continues through Saturday night. It started in 2002 as a way for the city to have an official grand reopening of its downtown after a 1999 tornado damaged much of that area of Clarksville.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
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