STATE FAIR: Security stepped up days in advance - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

STATE FAIR: Security stepped up days in advance

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  • STATE FAIR: What can you expect this year?

    STATE FAIR: What can you expect this year?

    Friday, August 16 2013 10:15 AM EDT2013-08-16 14:15:21 GMT
    In just one week, the great Minnesota get-together will get underway, but there will be a few changes at the fairgrounds this year. FOX 9 News spoke with spokeswoman Brienna Schuette about them.
    In just one week, the great Minnesota get-together will get underway, but there will be a few changes at the fairgrounds this year. FOX 9 News spoke with spokeswoman Brienna Schuette about them.

In four days, the great Minnesota get-together will get going. With nearly 2 million people expected to attend this year, organizers are already stepping up security and focusing on public health.

While the booths are being put in place and the bulbs are being changed, Steven Blaha is stepping up his security game.

"Can I have you pop the trunk for me please?" he asked.

Blaha, who has been a State Fair Police Officer since 2009, told FOX 9 News the training has been going on for months.

"We want to give people a sense of security," Blaha said.

The officers have been taught to check vehicles and carry out new security actions following the Boston Marathon bombing.

"That's always in the back of all our minds. That's why we do take it personally and we do take it seriously when it comes to protecting everyone," Blaha said.

State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer won't go over specifics, but he said there will be 350 State Fair police officers on site every day along with backup from nearby law enforcement agencies.

"We're constantly revising, constantly updating," Hammer said.

HEALTH ALSO IN FOCUS

Hammer told FOX 9 News the security forces are taking every precaution possible, and the health coordinators are too. Last year, the H3N2 swine flu affected hundreds across the country and threatened to close the swine barn.

"I, personally, have no concern with any sort of flu that would come from any of the animal buildings that would come from the fair," Brenda Anderson, who works with the pigs and helps with the 4H junior high show, told FOX 9 News. "We want people to come out and see how well we take care of our pigs."

There is no specific strain prompting health warnings this year regarding animal-related illness; however, there will still be hand sanitizer and washing stations throughout the barn.

Given the reports that last year's fair was the warmest on record since the 70s, they have also added four misters at the medical facility to help people cool down.

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