Lexington events ordinance changes made ahead of Barbecue Festival

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- Just four weeks before the Lexington Barbecue Festival, the Lexington City Council passed the extraordinary special events ordinance, banning items that can be used as weapons from large events.

Chains, crowbars, wires, pieces of wood, sharp objects, glass and pepper spray are among a list of items that cannot be brought into big events.

The change will mostly impact the city's barbecue festival which takes place on Oct. 25.

More police will also be checking back packs or big bags where someone could hide a weapon.

In August, the city began coming up with plans to prevent overcrowding. Last year, close to 200,000 people were in attendance.

Public Services Manager Phil Surratt says the city will create three gated areas near the main stage, where people can see the show but still walk around without crowding or pushing.

There will also be gates along East Center Street, creating a path for EMS workers to get help to those in need without fighting the crowd.