Expo goers enjoy annual concert downtown
Hundreds of parents, pastors and police were on patrol Friday night, trying make sure the recent uptick in violence in the city didn't spill over into Summer Celebration events downtown.
Rita and Stephen Sharp's children have been grown up for some time now.
"We're here to represent parents in the community," said Rita Sharp in a yellow volunteer vest.
That didn't stop the Sharps from coming downtown to act as surrogate parents to any teens who came there with questionable intentions.
"Parents should be involved. Know where your kids are all the time. And know what they're doing," said Stephen Sharp.
"I was kind of worried about coming tonight, but I feel like we all have to stand up and help the youngsters that are failing and doing this kind of violence and say, 'Hey, you know, son, daughter, don't do this'," said Vivian Brooks as she waited to listen to the O'Jays in concert.
"The community's realizing that it takes a village for us to care for another," added Reverend Clarence Moore with the Ten Point Coalition.
Hundreds of police officers in uniform and plain clothes, were also on hand, along with Indiana Homeland Security.
"I feel safe, you know, for all my family and there's no problems. I've never had no problems down here," said Ryan Orr of Rushville.
"It's quiet. It's a good night. We have a lot of volunteers. Things are going well so far," said Reverend Moore.
The city also brought in huge lights to brighten certain key street corners, while others monitored downtown cameras in real time, watching for any sign of trouble.
"I'm going to think positive that everything's going to go off all right and it's going to be a wonderful Expo," added Brooks.
An Expo that saw its first night of events kick off with thousands singing, dancing and enjoying some old school hits from the O'Jays.
Police also reminded parents about the city's curfew laws for teens. Police said they will be enforcing these laws this weekend.
Teenagers between 15-17 years old must be off the streets by 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and by 11 p.m. the rest of the week. Children younger than 15 must be home by 11 p.m. on any night of the week.