Lexington will play host to several large events this weekend, and folks are being warned to plan ahead if they want to find a parking spot.
Thousands of people are expected to flood downtown Saturday to attend events outdoors and in Rupp Arena, the Lexington Convention Center and the Opera House, according to a news release from the Lexington Center. People planning to drive downtown that day are being advised to arrive early and carpool if possible.
St. Patrick’s Day events will also close some downtown roads for several hours Saturday.
The Shamrock Shuffle 3K will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. with registration starting at 6:30 a.m., according to the release.
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During the run, Mill Street will be closed between High and Main streets, Vine Street will be closed from Mill Street to Midland Avenue, Midland Avenue will be closed between Third and Main streets and Main Street will be closed from Midland Avenue to Upper Street.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, but Midland Avenue will be closed between Third and Main streets and Main Street will be closed from Midland Avenue to Mill Street starting at 11 a.m. Those streets are scheduled to re-open about 2:30 p.m.
The forecast calls for cold weather on Saturday, but St. Patrick’s Day organizers in Lexington announced Thursday on Twitter that tents and heaters will be available downtown for the festival and parade.
On top of the St. Patrick’s Day crowds, Lexington Comic Con is projected to bring about 14,000 people to Heritage Hall from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to the news release.
Winter Jam, a contemporary Christian concert, starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and is expected bring between 12,000 and 15,000 people to Rupp Arena, according to the release. Doors will open for the concert at 5 p.m.
The Lexington Opera House will also be hosting performances of SCAPA Dance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to the release.
“People should plan to arrive early and allow extra time to find a parking spot,” Lexington Center C.E.O. Bill Owen said in the release. “We expect the parking lots around Rupp Arena to fill up very early in the day on Saturday. People should be able to find ample parking in alternative lots throughout downtown.”
More information on alternative parking lots can be found on the Lexington Center website or by calling 859-233-4567.