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Long Beach Grand Prix races set for weekend

April 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Long Beach Police Department said in a statement Monday that there is no specific threat targeting the Long Beach Grand Prix. There is a sizable security presence at the Grand Prix for the three-day event beginning Friday and culminating with the big race on Sunday.

"It's about 180,000 people that come here for three days. It's a second largest, only to the Rose Parade, in Southern California for attendance," said Carl Johnson, Noble Iron and Equipment, the company that set up most of the TV and press stands. Fans, family and celebrities will also be in attendance.

The Long Beach Grand Prix has been around since 1975 and cover more than 150 miles through the downtown streets. Drivers motor down the shoreline and past the iconic Long Beach Aquarium.

Unlike smaller venues, the Long Beach Grand Prix requires a lot of area to be patrolled by security. But since its beginning, the city of Long Beach and the Grand Prix staff have been up to the task.

Tensions were higher Monday in the wake of two bombings at the Boston Marathon. But problems were not expected in Long Beach.

Extra police presence was expected for the exterior of the weekend event, in addition to the large security force within the course.

Safety and security were the highest priorities, authorities said.