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Rod Run returns to Pigeon Forge despite calls for cancelation after April shooting

The city expects up to 125,000 visitors from out of the town over the weekend.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Tens of thousands of visitors are descending on Pigeon Forge for the Rod Run classic car show celebration, but city officials are wary of trouble in the rearview mirror. 

At the event last April, a fight led to a shooting. Pigeon Forge Police issued ten times the normal number of citations on Rod Run weekend, records show. Officers gave out nearly 400 tickets, compared to 34 the weekend before. 

"It is a big event. One we're excited for, but one that we have to prepare for," said Pigeon Forge Assistant City Manager Eric Brackins. "All of our officers are working and we've asked for other additional law enforcement agencies to help out as well."

The Pigeon Forge Police Chief said state troopers and deputies from Blount County will help patrol the event. 

"We feel that if we can make more of a law enforcement presence that will deter some of these things that occur," Brackins said. 

The city has added orange plastic barricades along the sidewalk in "hotspot" areas to separate the crowd from cars. 

Brackins said most visitors behave--and their spending helps fuel the local economy.