In the wake of the bombing in Boston, local festivals may make new restrictions to improve security.

Possible restrictions at area summer festivals

DENVER - The music and food draws thousands to the annual Cinco de Mayo festival at Civic Center Park in Denver.

But this year, Mark and Barbara Cohen were turned away because of their backpacks.
"The security people at the entrance in front of the library on Broadway said they wouldn't even look in the backpacks, they had been told by the people who run the festival, no backpacks at all," said Barbara Cohen.

Yet the two noticed some women carrying large purses.

"We understand the need for security, but there needs to be a balance.  And that's going way too far," said Mark Cohen.

7NEWS took their concerns to festival organizers.

They say the restriction came about after the bombings in Boston, the 4/20 shooting and after talks with police and private security.

"Women carry purses, you're not going to take women's purses away.  Backpacks, we just ask that you not bring them," said organizer Andrea Barela.  "They're very difficult to search.  As an event, as the organizer we ask you leave them at home," she said.

Rational or not, the Cohens fear such restrictions will cause people to stay at home.

"I understand the security issues because of what happened in Boston, but people need to come down and think of alternative things to do," said Barbara Cohen.

The next festival in Civic Center Park is the People's Fair, June 1-2.

Organizers tell 7NEWS security procedures are still being reviewed.   The goal is to accommodate safety and accessibility.


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