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Added security in place for Baltimore's New Year's Eve fireworks show

Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 17:27:08-05

Organizers loaded just more than 8,000 fireworks into canisters on a barge in the Inner Harbor Friday.

The planning started in early November and Saturday at midnight, the annual New Year's Eve fireworks show will set off to music.

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"We are actually dropping in each shell manually and every one of those shells will be tied back to a computer system which tells it how to fire exactly in a synchronized show that we have choreographed to some of the better selections of music in 2016," technician Joe Suehle said.

The fireworks will last 14 minutes and start right at midnight, but the New Year's Eve Spectacular will begin at 9 p.m., with concerts in the amphitheater.

The weather is supposed to warm up a bit, too, attracting what organizers believe will be crowds of people.

"Definitely thousands of people and we also expect a lot of people to watch it from their homes and the surrounding neighborhoods of Federal Hill, Fells Point and a lot of restaurants along the waterfront as well," said Megan Bosse with the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts.

But with the added people comes the added security.

The Baltimore Police Department is doing its part to ensure a safe and happy New Year.

"We're gonna have a number of officers deployed in the area on foot, on bicycle...they are gonna be in their vehicles of course. If you see something that looks out of place, just tap one of the officer and let them know," police spokesperson Chief T.J. Smith said.

Policing events like this is old hat for the department.

People won't notice much of the increased security around the Harbor, but know it will be there.

The best advice police can give is have a plan to get in, get out and get home safely.

"Have a plan in place to get there. Have a plan in place to leave. Where are you gonna park? Use public transportation if necessary to get there and also, it is very important to stress...dont drink and drive," Smith said. 

Baltimore Police also stress celebratory gunfire is illegal.

They will be specific patrols in neighborhoods looking for that.

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