ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - It was the biggest turnout ever, but in an area recently plagued with violent crime safety is a major concern.
Thousands flocked to the Centennial Summerfest in downtown Albuquerque Saturday, and authorities called in backup to ensure safety.
There were more than 100 Albuquerque Police on duty at the event, but they weren't the only ones. Detectives with the Sheriff's Department and State Police and even Federal Agents were also there.
Massive crowds of thousands turned out to tune into the main attraction Los Lobos. Summerfest events run through August, and Saturday's event was bigger than ever because the state is celebrating a landmark birthday.
"It's a great way to celebrate our 100th birthday as a state," said Albuquerque Mayor RJ Berry. "It's a great way to show off who we are what we are, and it's a great way to look to the future! So we're having fun today!"
With the major turnout, police are on high alert.
"This is the first event of this size and magnitude in the downtown area, so we brought in multi-jurisdictional efforts," said Albuquerque Police Officer Tasia Martinez. "That includes law enforcement agencies from all over the state, and we're all working in various capacities."
The event shut down six blocks of Central Saturday afternoon a Summerfest first. Patrons KRQE News 13 spoke to said they felt safe in the massive mob as police patrolled on foot, by bike and even drug sniffing dogs scanned the streets searching for anything suspicious.
Crowds didn't dwindle as they moved to Civic Plaza for the Los Lobos concert. News 13 cameras caught police booting a few rowdy fans, but there's no official word on how many arrests if any police may have made.
Alcohol was prohibited at the event, and because there was no entrance fee, crews say it's impossible to give an exact number on how many people showed up.
For more information on continued Summerfest activities>>
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