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Security measures in place for Green Bay's July 4th celebration


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Security is the biggest concern ahead of downtown Green Bay's 4th of July celebration Thursday.

Organizers say some new changes will be enforced by the 50 police officers patrolling areas of the Festival Foods Fire over the Fox event.

"We really don't want people to bring in any large coolers in the area that's defined in the area of the event," says Green Bay Police Lt. Kevin Warych. "We don't people bringing in large coolers of beer and any large bags similar to that where people could conceivably hide a weapon."

Discretion will also be used on other big purses and bags by cops in the area. 

"With the recent events in Boston, we just want to be vigilant in what people bring in," said Warych.

Another aspect to securing areas like the CityDeck or Leicht Park will be the "see something, say something" motto of reporting suspicious activity.

"We want people to have an extra set of eyes out and we'll have close to 50 officers out for the event," says Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt.

Chairs and blankets will still be allowed at the event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands to the downtown area.

"There's a lot of excitement in the community regarding this important patriotic day," says Downtown Green Bay Inc. executive director Jeff Mirkes. "Last year at this time, the CityDeck was not fully completed. As people come to an event like this, they're going to see a downtown that's changing."

A complete schedule of the event is available here.