HOT Fair and Rodeo addresses safety concerns after Las Vegas massacre

Posted at 6:58 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 20:05:21-04

The shooting in Las Vegas has people across the country concerned about event safety. 

Wes Allison is the president and CEO of the Extraco Events Center. He said they host about 225 events each year and ensuring the safety of attendees is their top priority.

The Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo kicks off on Oct. 5.

The HOT Fair and Rodeo has been entertaining Central Texans for more than six decades, but this year, it will follow the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. This is causing some would-be attendees to think twice before buying a ticket.

"People everywhere are looking for wrong things to do," said Olivia Crow, who plans to attend the fair. "It's really sad, especially for all the lives lost very suddenly. Obviously, they weren't expecting bad things to happen going to a concert."

"Since I've been having nieces and nephews, I've been going with them the last two or three years now," said Cedric Benson, who also plans on attending. "I think I'll still go. I wouldn't let it deter me and stop me from doing what I want to do."

Allison said they expect around 200,000 people to attend the fair and his team is prepared to protect all of them.

"We hope that it never happens, but ultimately, we plan and work with our security team and safety teams to ensure that we're prepared and taking extra precaution," said Allison.

Those precautionary measures include enforcing bag checks, prohibiting weapons and having local law enforcement on the grounds in high numbers.

"It can happen anywhere, but I don't believe it can happen around this part," said Benson. "They have security, police and the sheriff's department so I feel safe around there."

This recent attack has left our country shaken, but many refuse to live in fear.

"You can't be distrustful of everybody that's around you just because one person went crazy and did something totally absurd," said Crow.

"You can't let tragedy dictate what you're going to do every day in life," said Benson. "You know, life must go on."

Allison's said his team has yet to respond to a major accident or emergency at the Extraco Events Center since he became president back in 2002.

The Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo will run from Oct. 5 to Oct. 14. For more information, click here.

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