Free downtown events scheduled, organizers pledge security - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Free downtown events scheduled, organizers pledge security

By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Downtown Albany leaders are planning new, free family activities downtown this summer.

The city will host six Movies in the Park and three concerts through August.

While the plans are underway for the entertainment, security measures are also a top priority.

Officials know after a recent brawl following a downtown concert put on by an outside group, you might have some safety concerns.

"We're going to start with the Movies in the Park. The first one will be May 28th. We're going to have it at Riverfront Park and we're going to set up the screen and have families come out. We have family friendly movies that we're going to show," said Monique Broughton, Asst. Downtown Manager.

A similar event in 2005 attracted thousands. It's a boost for downtown businesses. There are also plans for three free concerts in June, July and August at the Flint Riverquarium, Ray Charles Plaza, and Veteran's Amphitheater.

"Due to the economic times right now, a lot of families don't have the money to go an see the new releases so we're offering these movies free of charge."

But many will find it hard to forget about the brawl that took place downtown just a few weekends ago.

Five juveniles were arrested after several fights broke out following a free downtown event. That's why ADICA leaders are making sure security measures from additional officers to the monitoring of surveillance cameras are in place.

"We're going to have one officer for every one hundred attendees. We're going to have another officer on the camera from before it starts to two three hours after it finishes," said Assistant City Manager James Taylor. 

Police officials have said the major contributing factor to recent brawl was parents dropping their kids off and leaving them unattended. Taylor says he doesn't want this event to play out that way.  

"Eight Mardi Gras, never had any serious incidents. Everything has gone well. We had this one incident and we don't want to overreact, but we can certainly use the support of the citizens and families by coming there with their children and not dropping them off," said  Taylor.

Movies in the Park will kickoff May 28th with a showing of "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

Other films include "Imagine That" and "The Blind Side."

The city is also looking for sponsors for the events.

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