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Davis Police Readying For 100th Picnic Day Celebration

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DAVIS (CBS13) — Police expect 75,000 people to converge on Davis city streets for the 100th annual Picnic Day, and city leaders are hoping the event will be fun and family friendly.

In years past, Picnic Day has been marred by unruliness fueled by alcohol. Recently, that type of violence has plagued college communities across the country.

Just a few days ago, riots broke out overnight during the annual Student Celebration in Iowa. Police say partygoers flipped cares, pulled out light poles and stop signs, and even threw beer cans and rocks at police.

Last weekend in Isla Vista, police tried to bring order to an event near UC Santa Barbara at the annual Deltopia celebration. They arrested 56 while 30 were taken to the hospital.

“Isla Vista tends to be a huge party. People go there specifically for that,” said Davis Police Lt. Thomas Waltz.

But Davis Police say this is not about out-of-control frat house parties.

“Picnic day is a family event,” he said. “It always has been a family event and we’re keeping it a family event.”

And to keep it family-friendly, the Davis Chamber of Commerce says more than 70 businesses have agreed not to sell alcohol before 11 am., calling it the community covenant.

Davis Police are also ramping up security by getting help from other agencies.

The opening ceremony starts at 9 a.m. with the parade at 9:30 a.m.

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