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Osceola County Fair ramps up security following last year’s panic

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — This weekend is the last time you can visit the Osceola County Fair this year, and officials expect big crowds.

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There is increased security in place, including more deputies on-site.

Anyone who attends the fair will be required to pass through metal detectors at the entrances.

The Hoover family’s annual trip to the Osceola County Fair is a tradition.

Since Osceola County Schools had the day off, Tammy and Melissa Hoover said the fair was the place to be.

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The animals are the star attraction for the children in the family, and games and rides brought in crowds of Osceola County students who took advantage of the free tickets.

The same day last year drew in such large crowds that the fair had to close early.

It led to panic as crowds ran off and deputies arrested a teenager.

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“That’s one of the reasons why we decided to come more in the morning, not in the afternoon,” Melissa Hoover said. “Not when it’s chaos.”

Osceola County Fair’s new general manager Joel Rose said increased security measures would keep things running smoothly this year.

The fair has doubled the number of Osceola County deputies patrolling the premises.

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“We feel very confident that we are going to be able to provide a very safe, family-friendly environment,” Rose said.

He said emergencies will now have a centralized response from county management.

Rose said this weekend is typically the busiest for the fair, with an average of 10,000 people per day.

The county fair runs through Sunday.

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