Stars, stripes and security at Channelside Fourth of July celebration

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a fan favorite year after year. Known as family friendly, thousands of people pack the sidewalks of Channelside to enjoy a phenomenal fireworks display every July. 

They crowd in the plaza and stand shoulder to shoulder along the water in downtown Tampa. A large crowd shows up every time to enjoy the show and this year, something else was showcased.

Moms, dads, kids and partygoers saw very strict security measures.

They were all pleased.

Barricades lined Channelside Drive so that no cars could drive anywhere near the crowds. The measure was taken to ensure the safety of pedestrians approaching the area. After tragic events around the world, blocked off streets are now becoming an important part of security measures during a large-scale event.

There were massive security lines where one by one, security guards used a wand to scan people entering the event.

Families loved it. One father of five admitted that it made him a bit sad to see how things have become, explaining that the most joyous of events are now possible targets.

Ultimately, he told us, more security is a good thing.

“I’m glad to see it. It makes me feel safer,” he said.

A man walking with his wife and young son explained, “I watch the news and I see all the terrorism. I am glad to see that there is added security in place. It makes me feel safer, especially with my son and wife.”

Follow Melanie Michael on Facebook

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