LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – And so it begins – the countdown to the Pegasus Parade.
In less than 48 hours, crowds will flood Broadway. The bands, floats and balloons will be center stage. But after last year, some say they're thinking about more than just the fun.
“I'm just a little worried, especially with what happened last year,” Lakisha Britt, a witness to last year’s shooting, said.
Britt says she and her daughter were just a block away from the shooting that injured two people during last year's Pegasus Parade.
“We weren't far from it at all. All we saw was everybody running. So having a toddler around with all of that going on, it was pretty scary,” she said.
But city officials say they're making major safety changes for this year's parade.
“We are doing all that we can to ensure that we never have an incident like that again,” Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad said.
Chief Steve Conrad says there will be more plain clothes officers this year working the areas behind the bleachers. And increased rooftop surveillance. The department is also installing temporary cameras along the parade route that will be monitored from the real-time crime center.
Metro Safe is getting involved too. All you have to do is send a text to 67283. Send the word DerbyWeek and you'll be signed up for safety alerts for all of this week's events.
“One of the biggest problems of the mass incidents that happen is communication. The better we can do at communicating internally and externally, this feature definitely helps our communications externally with our eventgoers and citizens,” Mitchell Burmeister said, Metro Emergency Services.
But are the new safety measures enough to get you out to the parade? Britt says she still hasn't decided.
“It's still not going to be enough because there's going to be a lot of people there and it's a wide stretch of Broadway. So it's not like they can be everywhere at one time,” Britt said.
The parade begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday. It steps off from Campbell and Broadway. And police say if you see something, always say something to be safe as possible.