After attacks in Boston, new security measures in place for Channelside fireworks
6:59 PM, Jul 3, 2013
1:17 PM, Jul 4, 2013
TAMPA - You'll notice big security changes at one of the biggest Tampa Bay area Independence Day fireworks displays.
"The Boston marathon bombings were supposed to be an attack on the Fourth of July," said Tiffany Davies, Executive Director Tampa Attractions Association.
Officials at the event company putting on the display says Tampa Police and Tampa Fire Rescue advised them to ban some items at the fireworks show that draws 7,000 people to Channelside Bay Plaza.
"No backpacks, no lawn furniture, no personal fireworks," said Davies. Also, leave your cooler at home.
You'll only be able to enter the entertainment complex from the main entrance off Garrison Drive.
And Davies says get ready to open up your purse or bag for a quick security search.
"Families are going to come down with diaper bags. We understand that. They're going to have bottles and diapers and wipes. Those are things that are going to get through. We just want to get out in front of it and say, 'hey, if it's on that unapproved list of items,' we're going to catch it and we're going to make you go back to your car," she said.
July 4 is one of the busiest nights for the Channelside Hooters, where Robert Fisher is general manager.
"Everybody thinks it's a prudent measure, just to be a little bit extra cautious, especially when we're going to be one of the biggest events in the Tampa Bay area, a lot of people packed into a tight space," said Fisher.
The bag checks will be handled by the same security firm that checks bags at Lightning games.
Davies says the Tampa Port Authority is chipping in on the extra cost.
"They're going to open it up. They're going to use their little probe to look through it and make sure none of those items are in there and they're going to move the line very quickly," she explained.