By Budd McLaughlin
ATHENS — The Athens Police Department will begin closing some downtown streets this afternoon to prepare for Saturday's Athens Grease Festival. The annual event runs 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Washington Street between Jefferson and Clinton streets and Marion Street between Market and Green streets will be shut around 5:30 p.m. to accommodate the stage and early vendor arrivals.
Market Street between Jefferson and Marion streets will close early Saturday morning.
Jefferson Street will remain open, but the parking spaces closest to the Limestone County Courthouse will be reserved for handicapped parking. Motorists should use caution on Jefferson Street throughout the day.
Access to Limestone Drug’s drive-through off Marion Street will be available.
If you're coming to the festival, organizers have provided a checklist for visitors:
● Bring a chair if you want to sit and enjoy the music and other festivities.
● Portable bathrooms will be available on Washington and Market streets and the corner of Washington and Jefferson streets.
● Parking will be available in the city and county lots around The Square and there is some street parking off The Square.
● Admission covers the cost of all children’s activities. It does not cover the cost of certain contests or the food and crafts being sold by vendors.
● 200 free tickets were distributed for the Rick Bragg presentation. You must have one of these tickets to get into the Athens State University Center for Lifelong Learning. Seating starts at 4 p.m. and the presentation at 5 p.m. You still must pay festival admission. Those who get seats downstairs will watch the presentation live streaming on a screen.
● There will be Athens Grease Festival T-shirts for sale for $12 and drink koozies for $2.
For more information, visit athensgreasefestival.com