DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — A festival that is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of people to the area has added new events this year but has also made some changes to security, which a lot of people say is a good thing, but others think otherwise.
One of the changes in security is the use of passive metal detectors, which are spread out across the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds and are being used to detect any handguns, knives, or anything that could cause harm to someone else.
“It didn’t take long at all to get through the metal detector,” Geneva resident, Derrek Thompson said. “It didn’t bother me one bit. It was smooth and we had no trouble at all.”
“Yeah, I feel like they were important, especially in today’s age that we had those security measures in place, so I felt much safer coming in,” National Peanut Festival attendee, Patrick Palas said.
However, not everyone is on board with these new safety measures, as some people took to Facebook to voice their concerns.
One person posted:
“We went last year and I was looking forward to returning. Gun-free zones create far more problems than they solve. We’ll pass.”
While another person posted:
“Well if that’s the case then I will not be attending the peanut festival because with that amount of people, police cannot guarantee your safety.”
The National Peanut Festival has also implemented a new clear bag policy and is requiring all bags to be searched for items that cannot be brought into the festival.
Organizers say a few people had to go back to their cars to drop off items over the past two days that are not allowed in the fairgrounds., but that’s a sign that their new safety measures are working.