BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on downtown this weekend. On Saturday, the Baltimore Running Festival will coincide with Fleet Week, which means major road closures throughout the city. Baltimore police and other agencies are working overtime to keep everyone safe.
From Fleet Week on the water to the marathon on the ground and the air show in the sky, it’s an action packed weekend in Baltimore. City police have all hands on deck.
“It’s very important to us to make sure this is the safest and most secure event that we can,” said Chief Melissa Hyatt, Baltimore City Police Department.
Both uniformed and plain clothed officers will be stationed throughout downtown. Certain items will be restricted.
“We’re encouraging clear plastic bags, and people should anticipate having bags checked,” said Hyatt.
Federal resources are also helping out.
“We will allocate personnel, resources and equipment in furtherance of those efforts to promote public safety,” said Special Agent Andre Watson, Homeland Security Investigations.
Police aren’t just patrolling from the ground, they’re also keeping an eye out from high above. The controversial aerial surveillance plane will launch this weekend.
“The criminal elements, whether foreign or local, are using very sophisticated methods to harm us. We have an obligation to use equally sophisticated methods to prevent them from doing so,” said Commissioner Kevin Davis, Baltimore City Police Department.
On the streets Saturday, gridlock is guaranteed, with more than 20,000 runners closing down dozens of roads.
“Sunday will have a lot less transportation challenges, and that might be an easier place to come in and enjoy some of those events,” said Frank Murphy, Baltimore City Department of Transportation.
The other huge event is the first-ever Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show. More than a dozen U.S. and Canadian vessels will dock in Baltimore. Some will be open for tours.
An honor will also be bestowed, as the newest Navy warship will be commissioned in honor of Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt. A Naval Academy graduate, Zumwalt is credited with opening doors for women and minorities in the Navy.
“He really opened up the Navy for African-Americans, all minorities, Filipinos, who were relegated to just doing kitchen and cooks now could be a part of any part of the Navy,” said Ann Zumwalt, daughter.
Perhaps the most anticipated events of the weekend is the air show. That will be on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The best viewing areas are near Fort McHenry, the Inner Harbor or Canton Waterfront.
Parking restrictions will also be in effect along the marathon route. Many of them start overnight Friday into Saturday.
Fore more information on Saturday’s road closures, CLICK HERE.
For more information on Maryland Fleet Week, CLICK HERE.