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ADDISON -- Crowds at Kaboom Town in Addison have been increasing, exploding to an estimated 50,000 people last year.

Gates opened at noon Wednesday in anticipation that hundreds of people would arrive early, because this year, the crowd will be limited to just 30,000.

"For the last four years, we've been getting here at this time just to beat the crowds," Gabe Alamanza said.

The Alamanzas had their spot under a shade tree picked out by 1 p.m., when event organizers estimated only around 200 people had entered Addison Circle Park.

"We're gonna kind of play it by ear and see what that looks like tonight," said Addison Director of Special Events Barbara Kovacevich. "And kind of cap it off at a comfortable number."

Three hundred police officers from multiple agencies are helping with crowd control and new security measures, which include bag and cooler checks.

Half-a-million people are expected to be in Addison for all the events, including an air show and live entertainment on the main stage, but since only a fraction will be able to see the festivities from inside the park, many restaurants were capitalizing on the expected crowd overflow by bringing in extra staff, chairs, and tables. People will still be able to see the fireworks when they begin at 9:30 p.m.

"I heard that, and I thought, 'How in the world are we going to accommodate all these folks?'" said Beverly Delgado, the owner of The Quarter. "And we are planning to have a bigger turnout."

Tables outside The Quarter were already reserved early Wednesday morning. Tables inside will be first come, first served.

"We've sold out every year, but not this early," Delgado said. "It's a surprise, but a good surprise."

Several Addison hotels were also offering discount rates Thursday night. Organizers say there are so many spots outside the park where fireworks are visible, they don't expect the crowd limitations to be a problem.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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