BLOOMSBURG FAIRGROUNDS -- The main priority for officials at the Bloomsburg Fair is keeping visitors safe. That's why they beefed up security this year.
This year for the first time, some security guards at the Bloomsburg Fair will carry guns.
The director of security tells Newswatch 16 the increased security had a lot to do with the terrorist bombing at the Ariana Grande concert in England and with a desire to be safer in general.
The Bloomsburg Fair has increased security gradually over the past few years. This year, director of security Bill Barratt says they are doing even more. Agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be at the fair every day. And for the first time, some members of fair security will carry guns.
Certain members of the security team trained at the police academy in Scranton to legally carry a gun. Barratt says they will also take an active-shooter class.
"They are trained and handpicked," said Barratt.
Some people came to the fairgrounds to pick up tickets. They all approve of the increased security.
"Keep us safe, knowing that you're going to come here and have a good time," said Albert Kistulentz.
"I think it's a good idea because, with all that's going on, it's scary anymore," Jeanne Kistulentz said.
There are now poles in the ground by the entrances to help control who drives onto the fairgrounds.
"Also, there will be barriers in the main parking lot to keep people safe when they're walking to the gate," Barratt explained. "So we don't have anybody getting run over, so we made a lot of changes in that."
"You don't know what's going to happen anywhere, even in my old little Bloomsburg here that was so wonderful to grow up in," Linda Stasko said.
Fair officials say they have not received any threats concerning this year's fair. They just want to take precautions.
The 162nd Bloomsburg Fair starts Saturday, September 23 with a preview day on Friday, September 22.