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Kentucky State Fair Tightens Security After Shooter Scare

Ryan Van Velzer

A new policy will require minors to bring an adult with them if they’re going to the Kentucky State Fair at night.

The policy, announced through a press release Monday, says fairgoers under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian who is 21 years of age or older with them when attending the fair after 6 p.m. The policy also requires proof of age, and officials say there will be increased lighting and more law enforcement workers there during peak hours.

Kentucky State Fair Spokesperson Ian Cox said false reports of an active shooter at the fair prompted the policy.

“Our response to this was to make sure that people feel comfortable and they also feel like we are taking security very seriously at the Kentucky State Fair,” Cox said. “This, we believe, will be a positive step forward for our attendees and our fairgoers.”

Saturday’s incident sent people into a panic as state troopers said minors lit firecrackers at the fair and falsely reported there was a shooter. Two adults and seven minors were reportedly arrested for the incident.

In a statement, Kentucky Venues’ President David Beck said the policy will enhance fairgoers’ experience.

“The Kentucky State Fair is a family-friendly event and our facility’s goal is to ensure that fairgoers are able to enjoy a comfortable experience during the Fair each year,” Beck said in the press release statement. “With this new policy and added security measures, we are continuing to enhance the Kentucky State Fair experience for all our guests.”

Cox said the increased lighting will focus on dark areas at the fair and the fountain and tent areas where Saturday’s false shooter incident happened. The new fair policy starts Wednesday. When the fair is over, Cox said they will review the policy and consider more additions to it for the next year.

“If we look at the world as a whole, there is a lot evolving around security and safety during events,” Cox said. “So I’d like to say that this is just the beginning.”

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