Navy Pier amps up security for Independence Day celebration
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Along with the rest of the nation, Chicago celebrated the Fourth of July Monday, but with extra layers of security.
And when it comes to celebrating, Navy Pier is the place to be on The Fourth.
"We had fireworks last night and tonight we're going to catch the real fireworks, right?" said Jason Ware, who’s visiting from Cincinnati.
Around 150-thousand people crowded the pier to watch the fireworks on Independence Day. But this year, in order to do that, each person was 'wanded' before being allowed inside.
Bags were also searched before you could get in, and there was a heavy presence of Chicago police walking the pier, even equipped with a bomb sniffing dog.
"In light of recent events throughout the world, we just wanted to take an abundance of caution this year. And Navy Pier being an iconic Chicago landmark, we didn't want to take any chances,” said Navy Pier spokesperson Payal Patel.
Although it slowed down entry to the pier, it didn't seem to bother anyone.
“They're just doing their job. You gotta respect them, you know?” said Jake Lee.
“It's necessary, so I feel pretty good about that,” said Sharon Ware.
"I feel more comfortable, I think that's the right approach to do it because again, it's overcrowded.It's Chicago, let's be prepared for a lot of things,” Galina Reytikh said.
And if you wanted a great seat for the fireworks show, you had to show up early, just like the Ware family.
For 2-year-old Jackson, the waiting game is exhausting.
“The good news is this guy is asleep, we'll see if he wakes up in time for the show,” Ware added.