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Hudson County, N.J., Bans Backpacks, Coolers For Fireworks Show

Security Measure Implemented In Wake Of Boston Bombings
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WEEHAWKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A new security measure could change your Fourth of July plans.

As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported Tuesday, Hudson County, N.J., has decided to ban anyone from taking a bag or cooler into the main viewing areas to see the Macy’s fireworks show on the Hudson River.

If you’ve driven through Hudson County lately, you may notice roadside LED signs reading, “July 4th — no backpacks or coolers in public viewing areas.”

This new ban includes all prime public viewing areas in Hudson County for the annual fireworks show over the Hudson River — specifically in Hoboken, Weehawken, West New York and North Bergen.

For Ed Craffey, who said he was planning to watch the fireworks in Weehawken, the new restrictions would require a little more planning for him and his family.

“I think it’s going to be hard if you have kids, you have to bring stuff with you,” he said, “but I understand it’s a security risk.”

According to Hudson County officials, the safety concerns and extra precautions were put in place after the Boston marathon bombings in April.

“Some of these people come down here with 40 family members and huge duffel bags, and they leave them all over, and you don’t know what’s in those bags,” said Lisa Bonelli of Weehawken.

While Bonelli thinks the ban is absolutely necessary to keep everyone safe, others such as Victoria Lagano said it is a little too strict.

“It’s hot out,” she said. “People need to bring stuff with them.”

Officials said anyone who brings a bag or cooler into the public viewing areas will be turned away.

Hudson County officials said there will be no storage area if you do bring a bag or cooler into the restricted locations.

Across the river, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said logistically, any such ban would be tough to implement.

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