LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Fourth of July celebrations took place safely at Bryant Park in Lake Worth Beach amid beefed-up security and the first time a state permitless carry law was in effect on a holiday.
The event occurred after holiday weekend mass shootings in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Lake Worth, Texas.
"We're sitting here with my son my daughter-in-law and my two kids and we're gonna be watching the fireworks," said Carl Simms, who just moved down to Florida from Illinois to be with his family. "The food's incredible, the people are so nice, the vendors are extraordinary."
He was one of thousands of people enjoying the 20-minute fireworks show as part of Fourth of July celebrations.
"Just to be here instead of cold weather and have sunshine every day is just incredible. I'm loving it here," Simms sid.
This is the city's 21st year putting on the show and they said that this year they had a record number of vendors for the event, and that 5,000 people were expected.
Royal Palm Beach
'We love our law enforcement:' Security at Fourth of July event brings comfort
"We actually work backwards with PBSO and Fire Rescue to talk about security, and then we build the event around that," Lauren Bennett, the director of leisure services department with the City of Lake Worth Beach, said. "So, the total number one priority is public safety when planning an event like this."
Bennett said staff has had special planning sessions to talk about plans and processes in case something happens, and that they've ramped up security.
"Just to be ready, just in case something happens, we want to make sure we're prepared no matter what," Bennett said.
"I just feel safe here," Jennyfer Cabrera, who got to the event early with her family and two children, said. "We've been coming here the past five years and I've never experienced anything bad. So I do feel safe.
"We like to come early because it gets really packed. A lot of people come here. We found this shade that's one of the reasons we come early to find a good spot."
Even vendors like Eat Da Bone BBQ said they've noticed the extra security.
"Hey you see those big guys with the big guns? I feel extremely safe" Jarred Taylor, the co-chef with the restaurant, said. "We love to support the community and give back to the community. So these are the community members that support us so we come back to support them."
Permitless carry became lawin Florida on Saturday, meaning no permit and no training will be needed to legally carry a concealed weapon.
WPTV was a proud sponsor of the event.