INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Despite the soggy weather, tradition and fun brought thousands of people out to the 53rd annual Circle of Lights ceremony downtown Friday night.
But security is a big concern around the world right now, and the local event was no exception.
Visitors could see officers from different agencies walking around downtown.
Many spectators didn’t seem worried about safety and wanted to focus on enjoying their tradition.
Those like Claire Jackson didn’t want to worry about safety.
“I have five kids; I didn’t even have time to think about that (safety),” she said.
She’s been coming to the Circle of Lights ceremony for nearly 30 years.
“[It’s] getting together with the family and keeping a tradition going,” she said.
“The kids see Santa Clause and then we watch the tree lighting,” Columbus resident Laura Nolting said.
Nolting wasn’t too worried about security, either, she just focused on having fun.
Coming to this event has been a 35-year tradition for her family.
They drive up from Columbus for the festivities.
“We do genuinely feel safe,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to come out and enjoy the community and have a good time.”
Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons spent the evening monitoring all the events from cameras and social media.
He said, with the increased threats recently, events like the Circle of Lights are getting a boost of security.
“You know, with the times we’re in right now and the uncertainty that things can happen right now we’ve brought in more officers,” he said.
He said EMS and fire crews were also on scene downtown to assist law enforcement, which is more than past years.
“Every year we evaluate our events and we determine changes from that what went right and what went wrong,” he said.
This year the security teams wanted to make sure families like the Jackson’s could add another positive year to their tree lighting tradition.
“So we’re just taking extra precaution,” Coons said.