San Francisco

In Wake of Garlic Festival Shooting, County Fair Bolsters Security

In the wake of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, other festivals are beefing up security. That includes the upcoming Santa Clara County Fair.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday it is taking over security for the county fair, which kicks off Thursday.

Fair organizers and county politicians said they want people to feel safe at the annual fair, now in its 75th year.

Less than a week after the Garlic Festival shooting, the fair will open with much more security than usual.

"Like many people in this community, I haven’t slept much since Sunday," county Supervisor Dave Cortese said Tuesday.

Cortese worked with the sheriff's office to increase the number of officers at the fairgrounds this weekend.

"And the idea is to do whatever they need to do to make sure every family is safe inside that facility during the fair," Cortese said.

Fair organizers want people to know everything from the rides to the livestock will be well protected.

"We will be checking bags and backpacks so that there is a feeling of security from the entrance at the gate and all during the festivities," said Abraham Andrade, executive director of the fairgrounds.

Candace Hitchcock of Morgan Hill says the bolstered security presence is a good thing.

"It just seems very safe, they have a lot of security," Hitchcock said. "We have to get passes to get in and out of RVs."

Other festivals ramping up security include the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, Aug. 9-11 and the Watsonville Strawberry Festival in Santa Cruz County this weekend.

The Santa Clara County Fair runs Thursday through Sunday.

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