Marietta police chief asks festival-goers to not open-carry weapons

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WT AP) - People attending this weekend's Ohio River Sternwheel Festival in Marietta should expect an increased police presence, and the city's police chief is also asking festival-goers to not open-carry their weapons.

With thousands of people expected in town for the three-day festival, which starts on Friday, and recent incidents of gun violence across the country on many peoples' mind, Police Chief Rodney Hupp said his officers will be highly visible throughout the event.

“I would ask, it is a free country, but I would ask that this would not be an appropriate venue to make a political statement with an open carry of weapons it’s just not necessary. We’ve got too many working parts going right now to be involved in somebody’s political statement; this isn’t the time for it.”

Hupp also said residents should expect to see the same roads that are typically closed during the festival to be closed again this year.

Marietta police will be working with other local and state law-enforcement agencies to make sure those attending the festival have a good and safe time, he said.