After last year's festival violence, Virginia ABC agents required extra police patrols.
RICHMOND (WRIC) - Expect a big increase in security at Shamrock the Block and the Shockoe Fest St. Patrick's Day celebrations on Saturday.
After last year's festival violence, Virginia ABC agents required extra police patrols. They gathered Friday afternoon pulling out barricades and conducting a security walk-through in preparation for Shockoe Fest.
Ryan Porter with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says ABC agents have been working closely with festival promoters and Richmond Police to make sure both Shockoe Fest and Shamrock the Block are safe events.
In addition to Richmond police officers, both uniform and plain clothes ABC agents will be roaming the festivals.
"It is about working with the city and the promoters ensuring the event is in compliance boundaries are clearly defined and looking for underage drinking," he says. "We feel this event will be a family friendly event. Both promoters and organizers at both vents have worked hard to promote a very positive event. We have made significant changes to these events."
"We are going to have an expanded family friendly event," says Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association President David Napier. "We want everyone to have a good time but we are not going to tolerate any bad behavior." You won't be able to not see the security and not feel like there is a presence wherever you are in the market."
Shockoe Fest will have an alcohol free zone as well as face painting and a moon bounce for the kids along with Irish dancers and music for all