New security measures for 2011 Bessie Smith Strut - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New security measures for 2011 Bessie Smith Strut

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The City of Chattanooga and Friends of the Festival announced today new security measures for the annual Bessie Smith Strut.

Police Chief Bobby Dodd says enhanced security will be evident and enforced at the festival's Martin Luther King Blvd. location.

This year's venue will have four access points and anyone attempting to enter outside of a designated entry point will be charged with disorderly conduct.

"One of the best forms of security is controlled access," says Chief Dodd. "We expect everyone attending the Strut to conduct themselves in a responsible and respectful manner."

Signs will be posted at access points regarding searches of backpacks, coolers, and the possible use of metal detectors.

Additionally, vendors will be equipped with Vendor ID cards and alcohol sales will end at 8:30 p.m. and food sales will end at 9 p.m.

"The Strut should be safe and enjoyable for everyone attending," says Mayor Ron Littlefield. "In years past, a small group of people have exploited the event and spoiled the fun for everyone."

This year's Bessie Smith Strut is Monday, June 13 and features headliner John Lee Hooker, Jr.

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