by: Alyana Gomez Updated:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Adults only. That's the kind of crowd The Jacksonville Landing is looking to attract for its annual Fourth of July celebration.
Live bands have already taken center stage to kickoff the 21-and-up party. On Friday, the only way inside the courtyard to enjoy the food, drinks and entertainment is with a government-issued identification card. The reason? Action News found out underage teens were sneaking into the event last year, even with tight security.
"You saw children not with parents, and teenagers running around and when you have an adult atmosphere like you do at The Jacksonville Landing, it's just a lot safer for everybody," said Samantha Collins, marketing and public realtions manager for The Jacksonville Landing.
Landing officials said they've asked for more officers this year and expect more than 100 armed JSO deputies to line the perimeter.
"I think that's great to protect the people that are here and bring more people out that may not come for security reasons," said Terry Robideau.
Because there are so many ways to get into The Landing, others said they're not convinced it will work.
"That will be hard to keep younger kids from coming in, and having underage drinking and getting in trouble I would think. No matter how many police officers, unless you have one main entrance," said Tom Dennig.
We're told any child or teen found without a parent will be stopped by police and either reunited with his or her family or removed from the party.
IDs will be checked at the door, and at the alcohol stands and restaurants as well.