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Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Police remind visitors to be vigilant and stay hydrated at Ann Arbor Art Fair

By Lee Higgins


Crowds fill Liberty Street during the first day of the Ann Arbor Art Fair on Wednesday. Police recommend some common-sense tips to keep the fairgoing experience safe and enjoyable.

Angela J. Cesere |

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend the Ann Arbor Art Fair, city police are encouraging people to be aware of their surroundings—and stay hydrated.

Police declined to discuss specifics about their plans to deter crime, but uniformed officers are patrolling on foot — and possibly bicycle — day and night, police spokeswoman Lt. Renee Bush said.

“We will have officers strategically assigned throughout the Art Fair,” she said.

In addition, a mobile command unit, staffed by a sergeant, is set up on South University Avenue between South Forest Avenue and Washtenaw Avenue to handle medical emergencies and other incidents.

Bush urged visitors to keep a close eye on their wallets and purses. People staffing booths should know where they’re located, Bush said, so they can direct officers there if needed.

Bush said people should make sure they have a working telephone. If anyone spots suspicious activity, she said, they should call 911 immediately with a description of the person involved.

More on the fair

Additional Ann Arbor Art Fair stories:

Bush did not have crime statistics from last year’s event, but police handled at least two incidents in which items were stolen from booths. In one case, a man was arrested after a donation jar was stolen from a booth staffed by Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.

In another case, a man stole a bronze sculpture, but two women staffing the booth didn’t pursue him because they didn’t want to leave the booth unattended.

Meanwhile, Ann Arbor Art Fair organizers are reminding people that water stations are located throughout the fair and air-conditioned trolleys and shuttles will be available to take people around. Comcast has an air-conditioned dome on Liberty east of Main.

Also, Huron Valley Ambulance has a post set up on North University Avenue and Fletcher Street in front of the Michigan League and will have two roaming paramedic teams.

Download a pdf of additional Art Fair safety tips.

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 4:32 p.m.

"Bush urged visitors to keep a close eye on their wallets and purses. " This 'blame the victim' mentality has absolutely no place in this discussion. I am outraged that it would even be suggested that I keep a close eye on my wallet or purse. As a citizen of the world, I have an absolute right to go wherever I want, free from fear of any type of crime. The people we need to go after are the criminals. We really need to educate them from a young age, that it is not OK to take wallets and purses.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

The police will go after the criminals after you leave your purse or wallet out in the open with money hanging out and not expect someone to remove it from you. You probably also leave your house door unlocked while on vacation and are just surprise that your belongings are missing when you return.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Amy Samida, It seems that someone has mandated that dogs of all sizes be taken to the fair. Also on the list of things to take are bicycles and strollers, some Hummer size, with or without babies. Oh, and be sure to not look where your walking.

Amy Samida

Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

And please, leave the dog at home.


Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

I see plenty of panting, miserably overheated dogs this year. Apparently nobody read your suggestion. :(