By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Plan to make some detours this weekend if you are heading through downtown Tupelo.
Because of the Tupelo Elvis Festival, sections of several roads are closed or will be closed, including part of Main Street.
Events for the festival kicked off Thursday and run through Sunday. Venues include the Lyric Theatre, a stage in Fairpark and the Elvis Presley Birthplace. Many of the road closings downtown surround the venues.
“We’re trying to make it a fun, safe environment for our out-of-town visitors and our downtown residents,” said Allie West, a program associate at the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association, which produces the festival.
Road closings started Tuesday, with sections of Troy, South Commerce and Broadway streets being blocked off.
Starting today at 5:30 p.m., Main Street from Front Street to Fairpark Drive, which is the road next to the Coldwell Banker Tommy Morgan Realtors building, will be closed until Sunday.
An easy detour from the east side of town, West said, is to turn either north on Franklin Street and connect with Front Street or turn south on Elizabeth Street and connect to Spring Street.
Also from 5:30 today until Sunday, drivers will not be able to turn on to North Commerce Street from Main Street. However, drivers can access the BancorpSouth Arena parking lot through the Franklin Street-North Commerce intersection.
The city parking lot on the east side of Front Street also will close at 5 p.m. today and reopen Sunday.
If you are attending the festival, West recommends that you park at the BancorpSouth Arena. The parking lot behind City Hall will be reserved for festival sponsors and VIPs.
“We ask people not to park at the Grill, Park Heights and the Hilton Garden Inn since the lots are reserved for paying guests,” she said.
She said on-street parking will be available, as long as drivers find legal spaces.
Also, the festival parade lines up Saturday at Church Street School. It starts at 10 a.m. and follows Church Street to Main Street and ends in Fairpark.
M. Scott Morris contributed to this story. Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.