CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Millions are drawn to uptown each May for music, food and racing. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, if you go to this year's Food Lion Speed Street you'll notice a lot of security.
Free music, food and fun are all part of the annual Speed Street events, but with big crowds past years have also seen arrests, even a death. So this year the city and law enforcement are stepping up patrols.
"We know areas where there will be large amounts of citizens who will gather and congregate," said Major Jeff Estes with CMPD.
To increase security measures, the city declared it an extraordinary event.
"It really just broadens our investigative powers slightly, it really enables us to investigate more fully if we see suspicious items that might not be suspicious in another circumstance," said Major Estes.
Police will also have the right to search backpacks if they feel necessary. This year, they've launched a "See Something, Say Something" campaign.
"We can't do very much at all without the help of the public," said Major Estes.
Police say after the Boston Marathon bombing they want people to not turn a blind eye, but to instead call 911 or alert a nearby officer.
“So we really want people who come to the event, if they see something out of the ordinary to say something-- don’t wait till later and say, ‘Oh yeah, I did see that backpack was left but I didn't say anything,’" said Estes.
Locals say they aren't letting recent events keep them from coming out.
"Still doing things with our family and not afraid of what's going on in the world," said parent, Marcus Lewis.
And they feel pretty confident with CMPD’s efforts.
"I think Charlotte Police probably have everything under control," said Charlottean Catie Loudon.
But Speed Street goers say they will be people-watching a little more than usual at this year’s event.
"It's good to watch out for suspicious people," said local, Owen Bugge.