Family Festival increases security for fireworks

The Danvers Family Festival has changed its security procedures for the July 3 fireworks show at Plains Park. The fireworks is the highlight of the festival, two weeks of family-oriented activities that this year run from June 21 to July 4. The festival made the changes to enhance public safety, spurred by this year’s Boston Marathon bombing, according to Gardner S. Trask III, chairman of the Board of Selectmen and a board member of the festival. The park will be secured on July 3 until it opens to the public at 4 p.m. No personal items will be allowed in the park prior to 4 p.m. There will be a limited number of access points and anyone wishing to view the fireworks from the park will be screened before entering. There will be no access to the park after the lights are turned off for the 9:30 p.m. show. Among other rules: no backpacks, bags, baskets, or coolers will be allowed in the park, except diaper bags and purses; bicycles, skateboards, and pets will also be prohibited in the park, except for service dogs; and food or drink must be carried in clear plastic bags. All other personal items will be screened and tagged. No trash cans will be in the park so attendees are asked to “carry in and carry out” all belongings. Parking near the park will be closely regulated. After the fireworks, security lights will be used and the security fence modified, to allow for easy and orderly exiting.