Springing the Blues ends without problems

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- The 2014 edition of the Springing the Blues Festival is in the books at Jacksonville Beach, without the problems of Memorial Day last year.

As thousands of people descended on Jacksonville Beach to enjoy the blues, extra police officers were on hand to keep an eye on things.

Security has been a concern at huge events in Jacksonville Beach since a brawl broke out when a huge crowd descended on the community for Memorial Day weekend in 2013.

This crowd was estimated at around 150,000 visitors to Jacksonville Beach this past weekend.

Sonja Laws lives in Jacksonville Beach and brought her family to the festival, and couldn't help but notice the security measures.

" Security is great here, when you first walk in you don't feel like there is going to be any danger or anything like that," said Laws. Plus there are more families here than there was at Memorial Day. It was a little more younger crowd , you have more of a family feel here.. It is way better, way more staff." You like that"? "Oh yeah! with these little ones here , oh yeah. "

There were lots of smiles as people were enjoying the music, the food and shopping among the numerous vendors. Festival founder Sam Veal said festival goers do feel safe, and he says because of the music , there is no reason for anyone to act up or misbehave.

" The great news about this event is that there has never been a problem with security, there has never been a reason for it...BUT...we always have great security, the Jacksonville Beach police department and other agencies have a large presence here, Most of it you don't see, you don't know ,. which is good. "

This year's festival seemed to come off without a hitch.. " I love it, it seems to be getting bigger and better each year," said Leroy Ricks who has been attending the last eight years.

Most appeared to be having a great time, and police officers had smiles on their faces, some telling First Coast News things went very well security wise. One volunteer festival staffer told First Coast News there also appeared to be much less of a problem with people having too much to drink and missing wallets.


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