Town beefs up festival security

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Mount Olive officials are reviewing changes in festival security measures for next year’s North Carolina Pickle Festival in light of new regulations handed down from the state’s department of insurance.

Last year, a quick-moving storm interrupted Saturday afternoon activities, and now officials are looking at ways to get festival-goers out of that kind of weather, should it happen again.

“We simply have to make provisions to handle this type of situation and get people out of this type storm,” said Town Manager Charles Brown.

Some type of communication system has to be developed at the festival scene to let people know this type of weather is approaching and is a threat, he added.

Officials, Brown said, are looking closely at setting up some type of shelter provisions for those kind of weather issues.

He said the local fire department is already working on putting together some type of emergency response plan.

It basically all focuses on shelter and security, Brown said.

“The North Carolina Department of Insurance has now come up with some very strict rules in terms of festival security,” he added. “We will do what we have to do and follow the state regulations.”

Officials are looking at setting up tents at strategic locations to provide information and help people navigate the festival.

“Right now we are working on how and where to set up shelter for people at the festival in the event of severe weather,” Brown said.

Monthly meetings are already being held for the planning of next year’s festival in April.

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