From kids' wristbands to first aid stations: Guide to safety at Ann Arbor Art Fair

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

Credit: Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair

ANN ARBOR - An event like the Ann Arbor Art Fair -- think crowds of people in sweltering heat -- brings along with it safety challenges.

The city of Ann Arbor has developed several methods to keep attendees safe throughout the four-day event, which runs July 18-21. 

Children's wristbands

The city implemented the wristband program seven years ago to streamline the process of safely reuniting children with their parents or guardians should they get lost.

How it works:

Each wristband will contain the name and cellphone number of the parent or guardian on the underside. Should a child become separated from their family, the only way to view that information is to remove the wristband, which can only be done when a police officer is present. The officer will remain with the child until he or she is reunited with his or her parent or guardian.

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Wristbands will be available at the following locations:

  • Safety Service Plaza at Liberty Plaza (at the corner of Division and Liberty streets) 
  • Art Fair information booths 
  • Ann Arbor Emergency Management mobile command unit

The Ann Arbor Police Department, Ann Arbor Office of Emergency Management and the executive directors from each of the four fairs sponsor the wristband program.

Preparing for weather

Since temperatures can soar in mid-July, the city of Ann Arbor advises Art Fair visitors to take the following precautions:

  • Dress in loose-fitting, breathable clothing
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Bring a water bottle to refill at one of the free water stations throughout the fairs
  • Leave pets at home (the heat and hot pavement are dangerous)

First aid stations will be located at:

  • North University Avenue and Fletcher Street
  • Safety Service Plaza at Liberty Plaza (at the corner of Division and Liberty streets) 

Rain -- and even tornado warnings -- can occur during the fair. In the event of severe weather, the city urges fairgoers to "be prepared to seek indoor shelter immediately and listen for the warning sirens to sound."

Security

From Jersey barriers to personal vehicle barriers and strolling officers, there will be a noticeable security presence at the fair. Some AAPD officers may carry rifles as an added safety measure while patrolling Art Fair.

The city of Ann Arbor also urges fairgoers to help keep the event safe.

"As with any community event -- and even in day-to-day routines -- we should always be aware of our surroundings," Ann Arbor Deputy Police Chief Jason Forsberg said in a statement. The city follows the Department of Homeland Security's instruction to say something if you see something suspicious or out of place.

The local dispatch nonemergency number is 734-994-2911, and in the case of an emergency call 911. Should a fairgoer need to call emergency services, they are asked to provide the nearest booth number and cross streets when making a report.

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