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Road closings for festival stepped up

Potato Fest Setup pt2

Road closings for this weekend's N.C. Potato Festival are stepping up on Thursday in preparation for the three-day event that starts Friday at 5 p.m.

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By William West
Staff Writer

Thursday, May 17, 2018

If you drive downtown or near the waterfront, you probably want to start looking for other routes for your commute.

Partial road closings for this weekend’s N.C. Potato Festival which started earlier this week are stepping up today and will continue on Friday, the day the three-day festival opens.  

Cindy Williams, a member of the Potato Festival Committee, said Fearing Street between Water and Poindexter streets and Poindexter between Fearing and Main streets will be closed today to traffic. The streets are being closed so that ice and soda trucks can be parked in those areas.

By Friday morning, motorists also won't be able to use Water Street between Main and Fearing streets, Williams said. And by 1 p.m. on Friday, Main Street between Water and Poindexter streets will also be closed.

And by midnight Friday, Main Street between Poindexter and North Road streets will also be closed. That part of Main Street will be closed for the Potato Festival’s car show, which is scheduled for Saturday and traditionally held between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and North Road Street.

Williams said after the car show concludes, Main Street between MLK Drive and Road Street will be reopened to motorists.

Throughout the event, motorists can continue use the public parking area across Church Street from The Daily Advance building, Williams said. She noted the newspaper’s parking lot is being reserved for handicapped parking.

Motorists are also allowed to park along any of the side streets in the downtown or along Riverside Avenue.

She said normal downtown traffic patterns will resume by early Monday morning.

The shuttle service the festival has offered in recent years won’t be available at this year’s event, Williams said.

"Our previous shuttle person had a prior commitment," she said.

Organizers also looked at ridership at last year’s festival and determined only 30 people used the shuttle service, she said.

Christy Saunders, Pasquotank-Camden Emergency Management coordinator, said there will be a large law enforcement presence at the festival. Officers from Elizabeth City State University will be helping out city police, as will officers from Edenton and Kill Devil Hills, she said.   

She also said an incident plan is in place in case of an emergency or something out of the ordinary occurs.

"We've been doing that for years," she said.

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