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Security upped at Red, Hot & Boom in Altamonte Springs

FBI issued warning about increased threat over July Fourth weekend

Local 6: Morning News at 6a
Local 6: Morning News at 6a

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Altamonte Springs Police Department says it will have an extra presence at the annual Red, Hot and Boom event.

A crowd of 150,000 people is expected to attend Friday, with some arriving early in the morning to claim a spot.

[RELATED: Spectators gather for Red, Hot & Boom]

The Palmer family arrived as the sun was coming up.

"We've been coming for the last 20 years and hadn't missed one yet," Jim Palmer said.  "I was coming here before they even built all of this. It used to be just a little pond, and I was watching fireworks here back in the '80s."

Around the same time the Palmers arrived, event organizers and security showed up, too.

Since the FBI issued a warning last week about an increased threat of ISIS-inspired attacks at Fourth of July events around the nation this weekend, emergency responders and event workers have been busy preparing.

"Security is always really good here, whether it be for Fourth of July or any time of year. Crane's Roost and the Altamonte Springs Police Department really does a good job with it," said Tina Thatcher, who has also been attending the event for years.

There are two checkpoints set up for people to get through, and this year, drones have been added to the list of things prohibited for safety reasons. Police say the event is patrolled by helicopters and that drones could interfere with their airspace and safety.

"I don't think drones are necessary. I don't think you should have them here.  They're really not appropriate," said Lorraine Whitaker, who was at the park early Friday with her daughter.

The fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m, but the event officially runs from 4 to 11 p.m.