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Many come out to downtown festivals despite safety concerns, heat

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-09 23:23:45-04

While organizers for both events focused more on security after the Old Market shooting last Friday, most people that came out say they were not worried about any violence, they just tried to beat the heat. 

After that deadly shooting at Gene Leahy Mall last weekend, Omaha Police upped the number of officers patrolling downtown. The move comes as festival organizers assured the public they would be safe. It's a message many received.

"I walked down to the arts festival, right down Farnham, right where the shooting happened and it just not a concern because there is lots of good people out. As long as we keep an eye out for each other, I mean that's what community is about",” says Ed Leahy, who attended both festivals.

Along with the extra Omaha police officers, off-duty county and city law enforcement provided security inside the gates. 

"Oh I feel safe here, we're still in the mid-west and I feel safe," says Scott Norton, who was at the Summer Arts Festival.

But the crowds could not escape another major safety concern, the heat.

"We've got Yeti's full of water and we're filling them up and just trying to stay hydrated, it's hot out here on the street,” says Norton. 

"Just taking a slow walk, finding a little shade, chilling out, I enjoy the sun, I enjoy the heat,” says Leahy. 

A few folks, including Mike Minardi, tried a different approach to dealing with the high temperatures. 

"Staying in the shade, drinking beer. They've got great bands out here and the art is top notch," says Minardi.