New Rule Enforced At Fourth Of July Celebration

Posted at 8:21 PM, Jul 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-03 23:20:12-04

Organizers of Nashville's Fourth of July celebration have enforced a new rule forbidding large bags, backpacks, and coolers in the area.

"This is the first time we have absolutely banned them," Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp President Butch Spyridon told NewsChannel 5. 

There have been a total of 21 security check points stationed at the perimeter of the "footprint" area in downtown which included Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater. The bags and coolers have been banned inside the footprint. 

On Sunday, guards enforced the new rule at the Prelude to the Fourth by searching each bag. Random searches will be conducted as well. 

"The world's a different place, and we're going to continue to do everything we can to make the event safe and special," Spyridon added.

To make up for the possible inconvenience, city officials have set up free water and mist stations. Attendees have been encouraged to bring their own bottles to fill up throughout the duration of the event. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. water bottles will be two for $1. From 5 p.m. until the end of the event, they will be 1 for $1. 

More than a quarter of a million people have been expected to attend "Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4," a number lower compared to last year's record-breaking attendance. 

"I haven't stopped having fun," Megan Lange, a visitor from New Jersey said. "It's pretty cool that there's so much to do."

Visitors also have noticed the presence of security at the footprint. 

"I'm with my family, so I appreciate the extra police and support," Sybil Hall, a visitor from Las Vegas said.

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said there will be a very visible presence of officers in downtown. 

The police department urged attendees to be careful of their surroundings and to report anything suspicious to a nearby officer or by calling 615-880-1515. 

In addition, event goers should not leave personal belongings unattended. The items are subject to disposal. 

For a full list of what is not allowed to bring, click here