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BBQ & Blues traffic, parking plans outlined

Every possible scenario to reduce traffic and parking issues during BBQ & Blues 2013 has been studied but there is simply no way to put on an event this size and not have some street closures. ’We have gone to great lengths to keep Main, Market and other downtown streets open for access to local businesses. We want festival visitors to shop in our business district,’ event chairman T.J. Imberger said. In fact, the business most impacted will be The Herald Gazette office on Greenwood Street where cast and crew numbering about 25 will erect a set to film an episode of BBQ Pitmasters. Greenwood, Holmes and Library streets along with all the parking lots in the festival area will close at 5 p.m. Thursday. All except for Greenwood Street in the area of The Herald Gazette office will reopen at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Greenwood Street will reopen after the BBQ Pitmasters filming is complete Sunday evening. Forsyth Street between College Drive and Main Street will be closed from 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday for the Ritz Park concert. There may be brief traffic stoppages on Main Street for pedestrian crossings at police discretion. Taylor Street may be closed Friday night if it is needed for overflow room for the Smokin’ Wheels car show at the United Bank parking lot. Herald-Gazette customers are strongly encouraged to get items for the April 30 edition to the office by 5 p.m. Thursday. There will be a small, temporary parking area set up for customers at the Swatts Street-Greenwood Street intersection Friday. ’While we hate to inconvenience our subscribers, customers and readers we’re happy to provide the opportunity to help shine a national spotlight on this great hometown festival,’ publisher Walter Geiger said. ‘Customers with special issues can call us at 770-358-NEWS and we’ll make every effort to accommodate them.’ To keep abreast of traffic and parking updates, monitor barnesville.com.

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