CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Food Lion Speed Street festival opened its annual holiday weekend run Thursday night in uptown.
And this year there were two "firsts."
This year Speed Street is officially considered “an extraordinary event”, which gives law enforcement special powers for dealing with troublemakers of any kind.
It is also the first year for a new curfew enacted after trouble following the closing of last year's event.
More than 70 people were arrested when a melee started outside the uptown Transit Center some two hours after Speed Street had closed.
A 22-year-old man was shot in the head and killed during the trouble.
Unless accompanied by a parent, any child 12 or under has to be home by 10 p.m. Anyone ages 13 to 15 has to be home by 11p.m.
"Walking around, I saw a whole bunch of police officers," said Shenine Dulin. "They are on bikes with identifiable vests, so I feel safe. It is a big step-up from last year."
A number of successful African-American men formed a group called "Men Who Care Global" after the violence that marred last year.
The idea is to work with kids at events like Speed Street and the Fourth of July.
"It is a drive to consult with young guys to let them know they can have fun without the extreme of negative pressure," said group member Earl Bellace.
Police said this year they have upped their game as well.
Deputy Chief Harold Medlock said, “We have put things into place after what we learned last year, to improve with every event.”
One of the things their paying attention to: Threats on social media of planned violence in uptown this weekend.
“Are we going to pay attention? Absolutely, we are monitoring those things,” Medlock added.
Judging by the crowds, the event is drawing just as many--if not more--people than last year.
"Things can happen anywhere you go," said Maia St. James. "It is not like, 'Oh it happened here once so it is going to happen again.'"