Miranda Lambert fans gathered outside the War Memorial hours before showtime on Thursday night, anticipating not only their favorite country singer in concert, but also a delay at the door.
Signs outside the War Memorial warned the people that their bags would be inspected, and that larger bags would not be allowed inside the building, this all following the bombing of the Boston Marathon earlier this week. The concert was slated to begin at 7:30, and usually the War Memorial opens about an hour beforehand, but on Thursday, the doors opened just after 6:00, as bag checkers waited just beyond the outside doors.
The bag checking seemed tedious at times, as the checkers used what looked like chopsticks to search bags like clutches and purses. But, while every so often a checker would have to throw out something small like a lighter, the atmosphere was fairly relaxed, as most of the people walking in did not have a problem with the extra security.
"I think it's needed," Barb Sheldon, a Mexico resident says. "Just through everything that's gone on in our country just the past 11 to 12 years."
Jodi Lewton brought her 10-year-old daughter (a big Miranda Lambert fan) to the concert, and said the War Memorial security gave her a better piece of mind when going to an event.
"It's not a hassle at all," Lewton says. "I feel very safe, she's ten and I'm totally comfortable coming in early so they have time to check everything before the concert so that we know we're all going to be safe when we go to watch [Miranda]."
Kelly Carr, the General Manager of the Oncenter, says they have checked bags in the past, and this enhanced security is just a piece of their daily security measures for all kinds of events.
"It doesn't matter if it's a concert, it doesn't matter if it's a sporting event, it doesn't matter if it's a dance competition, we're always looking for anything that looks suspicious, safety is our number one concern," Carr says.
Since the Syracuse Crunch are in the playoffs and still will host home games in the War Memorial, Carr says they will continue the enhanced security into the near future.