PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - With Monday's attack in the middle of a large crowd, concerns are raised about the security for heavily attended events. This includes Eastern Kentucky's, Hillbilly Days Festival, which takes place later this week.
The city of Pikeville is gearing up to host more than 100,000 visitors as this year's Hillbilly Days gets underway Wednesday evening with the opening of the carnival. All of this preparation comes while law enforcement officials say Monday's bombings in Boston are fresh on their minds.
Every year people from all over the state and the country flood the streets of downtown Pikeville for the festival putting local law enforcement on high alert. Public Safety Director, Paul Maynard says, "Anytime you get a crowd this large together you always want to be at a heightened state of alertness."
Law enforcement officials say due to the Boston bombings even more attention will be placed on this year's event. Maynard explains, "Obviously with the situation in Boston, the tragedy that occurred there...our officers are going to be at a heightened state of vigilance while they are downtown."
Patrolman Chad Branham says, " All areas of downtown will be covered both by foot patrol and vehicle patrol." Officials urge the public to also stay alert and report any suspicious activity. Branham says, "As always be looking for suspicious activity, criminal activity."
Unfortunately, law enforcement officials say anytime you do have a large crowd, criminal activity tends to rise.
Every year there is a five mile race as part of Hillbilly Days to raise money for Shriner's Childrens Hospital. This year organizers are planning to take up donations at the race and split the proceeds from the race between Shriner's Hospital and the Boston Marathon Association.