Stroll on State organizers plan for safety in light of recent attack

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Stroll on State is on its way, and organizers are telling us how they plan to keep families safe in response to the recent attack in New York.

Around 75,000 people came out last year and, this year, leaders expect even more. The Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau tells me they already started planning only a week after last year's celebration for this year.

RACVB President and CEO John Groh tells me they are working along with Rockford Police to make a security plan.

Groh says his team is always working to create updated safety plans that respond to recent situations, as well as ones that happened within the last few years.

Some vendors for stroll on state say recent events have made them nervous, but they have faith in the security plans.

"The thing that we have to do is protect each other. If you see something suspicious, report it right away to the authorities," says Lulu's Roasted Corn owner, Emilia Almonaci.

"Stroll on State is really about bringing our community together to kick off the holiday season, and I think it would be a great tragedy to let what's happening in the outside world affect how we live our lives," says Groh.

Groh says there are also a lot of security measures going on behind the scenes that they can't disclose.

Stroll on State kicks off with extended hours this year on November 25th, starting an hour earlier at 2 PM.