Preparations for Possible Springfest Party Continue

By: McKinsey Harris Email
By: McKinsey Harris Email

Local authorities are preparing yet again for the possibility of a Springfest party this weekend.

A few "block party" events publicized for this past weekend, with several thousand guests saying they were attending, ended up not happening.

Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst says they're pleased with their efforts from this past weekend and they're taking all precautions to make sure there's no repeat of last year.

Brad Hickman, a sophomore at James Madison University, says he's heard rumors about the annual Springfest party being this weekend, but he says it'll be nothing like last year.

"I mean, tear gas and SWAT teams is not what we expect to go to when we go to a college party. So, I mean, as long as it doesn't blow up as big as it did last year I think it'll be fine," says Hickman.

After seeing so many police officers out this past weekend, he says he's just not sure.

"Honestly, I think that everyone is too afraid to get in trouble this year, so we'll see what happens. It'll be fun but you never know," says Hickman.

Garst says their efforts to send a strong message last week worked.

"I think it's a major issue to get together to let people know the consequences. Certainly when you know in advance that you know you could be prosecuted for your actions, I hope people make wise choices," says Garst.

She says they're already having agency-wide meetings to be ready and prepared for this weekend.

"Again, there will be continued efforts and we feel very confident with the Harrisonburg Police Department's administrative role and all the parties they've worked with agency wide that we'll be able to curtail any problems," says Garst.

Hickman says he thinks it might be kept quiet, to keep it smaller and more under control.

"We're not going to try to have so many other kids from different colleges come here. We're going to try to make it more of a JMU thing. So I guess we'll just wait until later on in the week to see if we get a message on Facebook," says Hickman.

Several students say, if a Springfest party does occur this weekend, they know law enforcement will find out about it.


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