OLD SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Old Sacramento is expected to be flooded with visitors this Memorial Day Weekend. It’s hosting the 44th annual Sacramento Music Festival, and this year security is stepping up.
Event organizers partnered with Homeland Security to help tighten security measures during the holiday weekend.
The music festival brings Joseph Wheeler and his family all the way from Portland, Oregon every year for the past nine years.
Maureen Corrigan had a shorter commute, she took Amtrak from San Francisco to spend the day in River City.
“I started coming up here in 1980, I came with my cousin and we loved it so much we started coming here every year after that,” said Corrigan.
About 20,000 visitors will join Wheeler and Corrigan for the concert this weekend. Joe Cruz, the executive director of the music festival says this year, his security guards took a lesson in safety from Homeland Security.
“We will be looking at backpacks, we look at suspicious packages that might be left in different areas, if anyone is milling around trashcans,” Cruz said.
Cruz says Homeland Security agents toured Old Sacramento earlier this year and gave their recommendations to event organizers and security guards. KJ Sham is one of those security guards who says he feels prepared for any occurrence.
“Our place is to secure the area to make sure everyone is safe and call it in, make sure everyone is OK and we will note anyone who is injured,” Sham said.
Sham says security guards are often passive, but this year they’re taking on a new role.
“Instead of standing back and watching, our guys are gonna be out there and seen, patrolling and challenging people, making them feel uncomfortable,” Sham added.
The extra sense of security is appreciated by visitors.
“I’m glad to see they’re taking precautions, but it can happen anywhere so I just hope for the best,” said Theresa Murphy, another visitor.
There will also be undercover security at the festival this weekend.