BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (April 14, 2016) - The Little 500 weekend is one of the biggest weekends of the year at IU Bloomington. With the forecasted warm weather, law enforcement is expecting thousands of visitors to pour into town for the weekend’s events.
“The atmosphere on the campus is absolutely amazing. Right when I left my house this morning, everyone’s out especially with the nice weather,” said IU sophomore, Caroline Ieuter.
“Ever since I’ve been a little kid, the litte-500 is something I’ve always looked forward to. It’s just a great atmosphere, everyone’s so excited,” said IU Sophomore, Ryan Perry.
The Little 500, according to police, attracts thousands of out-of-towners to Bloomington. It’s estimated of the 40,000 plus students, at least half will have a friend visiting.
“Probably slightly more than half the students we arrest or ticket during Little 500 weekend are not associated with Indiana University. They’re simply here for the weekend party atmosphere,” said Lt. Travis Thickstun, with the Indiana State Excise Police.
Indiana State Excise Police have officers in Bloomington from all over the state looking for underage drinkers, fake IDs, and public intoxication. During the party weekend, Excise Police traditionally issue hundreds of tickets. There were 285 citations issued in 2013, 240 were issued in 2014, and last year, because of a case of bad weather, they dropped to a mere 171.
“There’s good and bad about the weather being real nice,” said Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff.
Bloomington and IU police departments have all hands on deck and are anticipating an influx of thousands of visitors due to the forecasted warm weather.
“Our whole goal is to just keep people safe. We want people to have fun but we won’t tolerate destruction, disturbances, things like that,” said Diekhoff.
If you’re in Bloomington for the Little 500 this weekend, expect to see a large police presence. Upwards of 150 officers from various agencies will be working at any given time.