Heightened security to keep people safe at the Sweet Corn Festival

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - With a heightened sense of security in place for festivals or places with large crowds after recent shootings in the U.S., the Sweet Corn Festival is in its third year of controlling access to get in and keeping backpacks out.

Thousands of people come through the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids every day. Steve Oldridge, the chairman of the festival, expects 21,000 people to attend this weekend.

One thing people will see is that enhanced police presence. As more festivals across the nation look at security procedures after recent deadly shootings, this is year three with a $5 cover charge in place for people age 11 to 59.

Visitors are also not allowed to bring in backpacks, weapons, or coolers. This is all to prevent what happened in 2016 when dozens of young people got into a fight late into the evening at the festival.

Oldridge said, "By having the fenced-in around the property, there's only two ways in and out of the church grounds. Before, there was multiple points that people could get in and out."

All of these measures are put in place to keep people safe. Oldridge went on to say, "We want everybody to come out, feel safe, enjoy the time with family and friends and one of the last weekends of summer and school starts and everybody's lives get back to normal. "

The sweet corn festival will be open tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.