After we enjoyed this year's Freedom Fair (and fireworks) it apparently took a turn for the worse. We left around 5pm but some groups started causing some trouble as the evening went on. There was supposedly fighting, harassing, and even fireworks being thrown into crowds. No one was hurt but this obviously isn't a good thing to a largely family-friendly and fun event. The Tacoma Weekly has a good article about these concerns and what police might do in the future to keep things under control. From the article:
Dr. George Keogh had a booth for his business, Proctor Chiropractic, about halfway between the Ram and Lobster Shop restaurants. He said the atmosphere got ugly later in the day.
A New Jersey native, Keogh said he used to live in the Bronx and has been to many large festivals. He said he has not witnessed a situation get as out of hand as Freedom Fair.
"At this point, I would not bring my family down there," he commented.
There's no reason people shouldn't feel safe watching the fireworks and enjoying the ofter cooler temperatures that come with a summer evening. So, what could be done to keep things in better control during the Freedom Fair?
Here's my suggestions:
1) Mounted police -- it get's them above the crowd and provides a very visible presence
2) Flood lights -- crank up the brightness when it gets darker (from behind so folks can still enjoy the fireworks)
3) Temporary help beacons -- they have these on college campuses and could provide an easy way for a member of the public to signal when there's and emergency or trouble
What would you recommend to help keep Freedom Fair safe and fun?