"Oh come on out, have a great time," Bruce Macleod, assistant to the livestock superintendent, said. "It's going to be a blast."
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Macleod has been volunteering at the fair for more than a decade. However this year, instead of the competitions and games, Gilroy and Sunday's deadly shooting at the Garlic Festival are top of mind.
"It's in everybody's heart," Macleod said. "We had several people there we knew, and so it was heartbreaking really. We know several people that were shot."
One of the FFA students tells me the fair board has offered counseling services for people here in light of the shooting in Gilroy Sunday. She says they didn’t want anyone to have to heal alone pic.twitter.com/mTRYkF3PKG— Jobina Fortson (@JobinaFortson) August 1, 2019
The trauma is clearly being felt here at the fair. Volunteers told ABC7 News the fair board is offering services to everyone so no one has to heal alone.
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"Right now, I think everyone is okay," Serena Wood, a Morgan Hill FAA participant said. "We're coping. I know they have counselors here if anyone needs to talk."
Supervisor Dave Cortese put in a formal request to the Santa Clara County Executive and Sheriff for a full security plan ahead the fair.
You can meet these guys at the Santa Clara County Fair today! Volunteers are in good spirits, but are still thinking about the deadly shooting at the #GilroyGarlicFestival. A security plan was developed in light of the tragedy to maintain safety here. pic.twitter.com/pcEof6uUDX— Jobina Fortson (@JobinaFortson) August 1, 2019
"I think it's a new reality these days," Cortese said Tuesday. "You can't go into a festival or an open area event with the usual security techniques. You have to have a plan. You can't depend on fences to keep people out anymore."
By Thursday, Cortese said his initial concerns about the fair had been satisfied. He plans to be in communication with the sheriff's office throughout the fair.
See more stories and videos related to the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.