Chaos used to be synonymous with Water Follies weekend and police braced themselves for riots, fights and arrests.
But now, the annual boat race that draws thousands of fans to both sides of the Columbia River, is mostly a calm, family-friendly event.
"It's not a hostile environment anymore," said Kennewick police Capt. Scott Child. "Word's out now that chaos won't be tolerated and people come out with different expectations."
Kennewick police had 21 officers staffing the park, including four Benton County sheriff's deputies, two officers each from Walla Walla police and West Richland police and one Walla Walla County sheriff's deputy.
Officers were on ATVs, bicycles, motorcycles and carts and continually patrolled the river in Columbia Park.
"Be mobile and be visible" was the goal, Sgt. Ken Lattin said. "I want the crowd to think there are 150 officers out here."
That game plan appeared to work as it seemed there was an officer nearby anytime someone turned around.
Officers were there to make sure things stayed safe and Child said they "truly would be happy if we didn't have to arrest any people."
The Benton County sheriff's marine patrol also was on the river and kept pretty busy with several DUI boating arrests, officials said.
On the other side of the river, Pasco police had 17 officers, including reserves, and three Explorer Scouts patrolling on cart, bicycle and foot, said Sgt. Mike Monroe.
Some of the officers were shifted to help with traffic on Sylvester Street in the afternoon and evening, he said.
The police department was maintaining a visible presence at Water Follies, although there were no problems, Monroe said.
"It's like night and day," Capt. Jim Raymond said comparing past Water Follies events to the current one.
Raymond described the former event as a "melee," but noted that alcohol is controlled now and only allowed in certain areas.
The Pasco venue is nicer as well. Raymond said the bank used to be covered in weeds. Now, grass covers the areas that aren't part of the 22-mile Sacajawea Heritage Trail that goes through Pasco, Kennewick and Richland.
Raymond said police used to go from fight to fight during the Water Follies. And Court Street from Road 36 to Fourth Avenue was bumper to bumper of people cruising back and forth, Monroe said.
In Columbia Park, there used to be so much mayhem that there were a few areas where officers would be told not to go because they would get assaulted, Lattin said.
"At the height of craziness, we had riot teams standing by and officers posted at gates ready to respond," Lattin said.
Alcohol was free flowing, people got drunk, bikini tops started coming off and things would just get out of control, Child said.
But like in Pasco, there is now just one designated area where alcohol is allowed and that "makes a big difference," Lattin said.
On Sunday, officers issued just four violations for alcohol in the park, two traffic infractions and arrested two drivers on suspicion of DUI as they were trying to leave the park.
That was even lower than Saturday, when officers issued nine alcohol-related citations, a dozen traffic infractions and one arrest.
"It was a very successful weekend," Lattin said. "We like it when people are well-behaved.
* Herald staff writer Kristi Pihl contributed to this report.