ORLANDO, Fla. – The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving has come to be known in modern times as being one of the busiest bar nights of the year.
The thinking behind the uptick in bargoers is that adults from a certain city or town, return home and see friends prior to the holiday.
After several shootings on Halloween in downtown Orlando that left seven people shot, Orlando Police said it has increased the number of officers patrolling the downtown area.
The agency also said their officers are specifically monitoring crowds gathering in the street. Following the shootings on Halloween, three teens were injured. Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon said at the time, a group of teens had been gathering in the roadways, for the specific purpose of gathering in the road.
For anyone unfamiliar, Orlando police typically close off Orange Avenue to downtown to traffic on both Friday and Saturday.
Exceptions are made during holidays and other special events.
Thalia Zielinski said she was visiting downtown on Wednesday. She said she sees more people out following the pandemic.
“More people are going out and also people are getting cooped up in their houses, so I’m sure they are tired of it,” Zielinski said. “I feel like I’ve heard about a couple of shootings, but I wasn’t fully aware of it, just you know heard it in passing.”
David Sandoval said that he didn’t see anything concerning during his visit downtown Wednesday evening, but said that he always keeps a watchful eye.
“It definitely does raise concerns about public safety and are they doing their best to keep us safe,” Sandoval said. “I feel safe. I had a great time today. There’s a lot of great things to do out here. I didn’t really see law enforcement as much down here, especially if everything just happened, you’d expect to see a lot more, especially with parking lots around. We didn’t see many people there.
As always, Orlando police ask anyone who sees something to say something by calling 911.