Record crowds expected for French Quarter Fest 2014 - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Record crowds expected for French Quarter Fest 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Crews scrambled Wednesday to put the finishing touches on one of the city's biggest events. Over the next four days, huge crowds will descend on the Vieux Carre for French Quarter Festival 2014.

"With a living, breathing neighborhood like the French Quarter, there's so many things we can't do until the last minute," Marci Schramm, the festival's executive director, said.

But the stage is now set for the massive event.

"We expect record crowds again. I mean, the hotels have been sold out for months and we once again got voted locals' favorite festival, which is lovely and, so, I think it's going to be a great mix of people. Certainly, half a million people over the four days," Schramm said.

Security plans are in place as the NOPD will bring in extra manpower through regular patrols and details across the French Quarter.

"It's a huge contingent of officers who come down to ensure the safety. You know, Saturday and Sunday there will be the street closures that will be put in place. It helps with the visibility of officers too," NOPD 8th District Cmdr. Jeffrey Walls said.

"We added mounted this year, we increased some of the police patrols. They'll all have their great yellow vests on like they did for Super Bowl, and then in addition, this year, we're implementing bag checks on the riverfront -- not because anything has happened, but just as an extra precaution to keep our festival goers safe," Schramm said.

On the eve of the festival, large crowds strolled the French Quarter Wednesday.

Folks we talked with say the celebration has already begun.

"There's something going all the time. You're never bored. You know, you can just keep going and going and going," said Nell Vismantis of Orange County, CA.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.

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