ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The 13th annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow is getting underway at the Pit with the largest event of its kind adding extra security.
With tens of thousands expected to attend over the next two days, security at the University of New Mexico arena is a big concern.
At noon Friday the dancers were making their way to the floor as thousands of spectators continued to pour into the Pit. Police patrols were everywhere.
Security officials told KRQE News 13 bomb-sniffing dogs swept the Pit earlier in the morning, and more will be coming through on Saturday as well.
Albuquerque Police Department officers also were walking around the facility and making their way through the crowds.
The increased security measures are in place not only to make sure people are safe but from heightened concern in the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon last week. Organizers wanted to be sure they had as much security as possible.
"We have stepped up procedures," Billy Sparks with UNM said. "We've also got crowd control managers into the Pit in the event--God forbid--something actually should occur, but we feel very good about the event people are going to be safe here today."
In addition to APD, organizers are also using the FBI, the U.S. Marshal Service as well as the Albuquerque Fire Department to keep an eye on things.
More than 700 tribes from around the world are expected at the gathering.
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