Kearney get set for its annual Cruise Nite

Published: Jul. 14, 2016 at 10:52 PM CDT
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Downtown businesses and law enforcement are getting set for one of Kearney's biggest events of the year, Cruise Nite.

Last year restrictions were put on public consumption of alcohol during the event, causing major changes. Going into its second year with restriction, more adjustments to are expected.

The Kearney Police Department will have all of their officers out, along with some Buffalo County Sheriff Deputies and State Patrol troopers.

This year police said they are changing some of the patrol areas during the event.

"There's different areas that we focused on last year and didn't focus on too much on some where we had some problems with, so it's a matter of moving man around," said Cpt. Michael Kirkwood.

Kirkwood said part of those shifts are because of last year's ordinance restricting alcohol consumption along sidewalks and streets, which created a safer event.

"Everyone had an open container. I mean everyone had an open container on the street, on the sidewalk, all around in years past. We didn't see that last year at all," said Kirkwood.

Kirkwood said those restrictions might have also caused an increase in traffic at bars and restaurants, but Cunningham's Pub Owner Mike Anderson said he's not so sure because of how busy it already is.

"Every year since we've been doing this, the downtown has been very busy. Our crowds have been about the same in terms of business-wise with people coming in on a Saturday afternoon and Saturday night," said Anderson.

Despite that, Anderson says they're expecting all hands on deck Saturday.

"We're getting prepped up to be a little bit busier because of the fact that you have a couple more thousand people coming in downtown Kearney. Our prep crews are getting ready, getting lots of food prepared along with our servicen, as well. We're getting ready for a few busy days," said Anderson.

In addition to monitoring public consumption of alcohol, Kirkwood said they will also be looking out for those littering or leaving trash along streets and sidewalks. He said that's still one of the biggest problems they see during Cruise Nite.