Getting ready to head to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Fourth of July celebrations? Be sure to drink lots of water, keep track of small children, and report anything suspicious, police urge.
During a news conference Tuesday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross and Deputy Commissioner Dennis Wilson said the department was prepared for the Independence Day celebrations, which will be patrolled on foot and by motorcycle, bicycle, and helicopter.
Police downplayed fears of a terror plot in the aftermath of Monday's news that an Ohio man was arrested and alleged to be planning a Labor Day attack on Philadelphia.
"Right now, there is nothing that suggests this individual is working in conjunction with anyone else. That seems to be fairly definitive," Ross said. "There are no current threats to the Philadelphia area."
One area of concern was the heat predicted for the Fourth, with temperatures expected to reach the high 80s.
The city is setting up misting stations along the Parkway and will hand out pallets of bottled water, but Wilson still urged attendees to bring their own water.
"Heat is going to be an issue for us," he said.
The Red Cross will have a missing child station set up at 24th Street and the Parkway to help parents who get separated from their children.
In the ticketed area of the Parkway, bags will be allowed and screening will be in place. In the general Parkway area, alcohol will be banned (except for the beer gardens) and citizens can legally practice concealed carry, although Ross said he would not recommend it.
"I would just suggest you leave [your weapon] at home, but obviously it is your right under the law to carry, and this is not one of the events where you are prevented from doing so," he said.
Ross also repeated the classic adage that if citizens see something suspicious, they should say something.
"We are hoping to leverage the eyes and ears of people out there enjoying themselves, and if you see something that just doesn't sit right with you, we always tell you, let us vet that," he said.
Ross expressed optimism that the celebrations would continue peacefully.