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Lilac fest organizers talk about security, new age requirement

Local News

Security has always been a huge part of the Lilac Festival, but this year, there’s a new twist: teenagers 16 and under need an adult to get in.

We asked Lilac organizer Jeff Springut how the extra measure is going six days into the festivities.

“We’ve had a couple of creative kids who saw a family walking in and tagged on and said, ‘oh that’s my mom that’s my dad.’ Security people saw through it,” Springut said.

Springut estimates a few hundred kids have been turned away trying to get into the gates without a parent, something he considers a success for a festival this big.

“I think a lot of the kids underage got the message early on. We announced it over a month ago and some kids want to test the issues,” he said.

We asked parents what they think about the age restrictions.

“It’s better [like this] because kids know they have to be here with somebody. Their attitude is a lot better,” parent Mella Fanus said.

Mom Tawana Payne disagrees. She said her 15 year old daughter wouldn’t have a problem in the festival alone, even though she is under age.

“She’s going to come in here and act like she’s got some sense, so she would be fine in here by herself,” Payne said.

Her daughter, Lawana Johnson, thinks there should be an age limit, but not 16.

“I’d say 14 to go in without a parent,” Johnson said.

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