Mayor Jim Newberry encouraged people to go downtown for live entertainment during the Spotlight Lexington festival, but he warned of possible traffic backups because of closed streets starting Sept. 24.
"There may be some traffic challenges with the added visitors," Newberry said Tuesday, "but a good time can still be had by all."
The festival is the after-hours entertainment for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be at the Kentucky Horse Park from Sept. 25 to Oct. 10. City officials are expecting the heaviest traffic downtown on the three Fridays of the festival — Sept. 24, Oct. 1 and Oct. 8.
Spotlight Lexington will be held at three major areas, Courthouse Plaza, and Cheapside and Triangle parks. Live music will be at the plaza and Cheapside, and and an arts and crafts venue and free children's activities will be at Triangle Park. The festival will begin daily at 11 a.m. when food vendors open, and will continue until 11 p.m. most days.
Barr Street will be closed between North Limestone and the courthouse garage entrance for the entire period because the main stage will at the Courthouse Plaza at North Limestone. Barr Street will be closed Sept. 22 to Oct. 11.
From Sept. 24 to Oct. 10, Short Street between North Limestone and Martin Luther King Boulevard will be closed from 6 p.m. to midnight weekdays and 2 p.m. to midnight on weekends. During that same time, South Limestone will be closed from Main to Vine streets from 10 a.m. to midnight every day.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, numerous streets will be closed for the "Celebrating the Equine Spirit" parade at 6 p.m.
Other closings will be more sporadic.
In addition, G-TV, or Channel 3, will be broadcasting traffic information from 4 to 6 p.m. every day, and traffic engineers will be staying on the job until 11 p.m. Starting Monday, the city's Web site, Lexingtonky.gov, will devote its front page to traffic updates and entertainment information.
Metered parking spots will be free every day of the festival beginning at 3 p.m. Paid parking will be available in downtown garages.
Spotlight Lexington will kick off at the main stage at the Courthouse Plaza on Sept. 24 with Scott Said and the Backroads Band, followed by American Idol star Danny Gokey at 7 p.m. Country star Blake Shelton will take the stage at 8.
The other Friday night acts include Lexington native Laura Bell Bundy on Oct. 1, and Bluegrass stars J.D. Crowe and Sam Bush on Oct. 8. A complete lineup of acts and events can be found at Spotlightlexky.com.