VENTURA, Calif. - The Ventura County Fair will open it’s doors Wednesday morning, less than a week after the Garlic Festival shooting. Security plans are in the works as people are gearing up for opening day.
“I was very saddened when I heard it on the news last night, and I thought about it again this morning and my heart goes out to them,” said Norm Hudson, a volunteer at the Ventura County Fair.
As gates set to open for thousands of people over the next two weeks, the fair will only have two entrances that will be highly secured.
“We are going to continue our security screenings and we use magnetometers at the gates and wand everyone that comes into the fair,” said James Lockwood, publicity director at the Ventura County Fair. “That means employees, directors, entertainers, vendors, everyone must go through the medal detectors and the wanding process.”
Ventura police leads security at the Fair. Police also plan to have a command center inside the fairgrounds operating 24 hours a day. The Ventura County Sheriffs Department as well as California Highway Patrol officers will also lend a hand keeping the grounds safe.
“We are surrounded by a perimeter fence and that will be monitored by the Ventura County Mounted sheriffs,” said Lockwood. “There are police patrolling the fair in all of the areas, even the areas that are not public areas.”
Pat Gladstone has worked 18 years at the fair as a clerk. She says she has always felt safe while working at the fair, but is still shocked at what happened in Gilroy.
“I am surprised about it happening there,” said Gladstone. “It has always been such a quiet little town, but again I do not think we can be surprised anywhere anymore. It is going to happen wherever somebody wants to make a statement and I do not know why they have to.”