Main St. Arts Festival brings restrictions to the city

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With the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival just a day away, the city is preparing for the thousands of people that will soon swarm downtown Fort Worth.
Art, music and culture have come together at one location for 30 consecutive years. Since its beginning, the festival has attracted a copious amount of attendees.
The four-day event not only brings $27 million to the city annually, but it also attracts 400,000 attendees, said Claire Bloxom Armstrong, festival spokeswoman. While the exposure greatly benefits Fort Worth, it is almost impossible to avoid the heavy downtown traffic that will come as a result of the festival.
The festival will span nine blocks on Main Street, from the Tarrant County Courthouse to the Fort Worth Convention Center. It isn’t set to begin until Thursday, but several street closures have been in effect since Monday.
Starting Friday, all street closures will take effect and will remain in place through Monday morning, according to the festival’s website. Motorists should know that they will be restricted on Main Street and intersections from Second through Ninth streets.
The following streets are currently closed to vehicle traffic until 6 a.m. Monday:

  • Weatherford Street, from Houston to Commerce streets.
  • First Street, from Commerce to Calhoun streets.
  • Second Street, from Houston to Commerce streets.
  • Two center lanes on Fifth Street, from Houston to Commerce streets, will be open from 6 to 9 a.m. Wednesday-Friday. All lanes will close Friday at 9 a.m.
  • Two north lanes on Sixth Street, from Houston to Commerce streets, will remain open until Thursday at 6 p.m. Lanes will reopen at 6 a.m. Friday and close for the weekend at 6 p.m.
  • Two south lanes on Seventh Street, from Houston to Commerce streets, will remain open until Thursday at 6 p.m. Lanes will reopen at 6 a.m. Friday and close for the weekend at 6 p.m.
  • Eighth Street, from Houston to Commerce streets, and from Commerce to Calhoun streets.

Beginning 6 p.m. Friday, the following streets will be closed until 6 a.m. Monday:

  • Main Street, from Weatherford to Ninth streets.
  • First through Eighth streets, from Commerce to Houston streets.
  • Ninth Street, from Houston to Calhoun streets.
  • Houston Street, from 12th to Ninth streets.

The Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival has been preparing for the start of the festival since Monday. Bloxom Armstrong said that the road closures help workers build and construct sets in a timely manner.
Due to the street closures, though, parking will be even more of a premium, Bloxom Armstrong said. The city has mapped out all available parking for the festival.
To help alleviate traffic, Bloxom Armstrong said she encourages attendees to make their way to the festival by taking the bus or train.
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) expanded its bus service for patrons on Saturday and departs from two locations: Stockyards/Billy Bob’s Texas and Farrington Field.
The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) will extend service hours for the festival through late hours of the night on Friday and Saturday. The train will also operate on Sunday. The railway makes arrivals at the ITC station, just two blocks away from the Convention Center.
This year, Bloxom Armstrong said the festival has expanded.
About 220 vendors will showcase their work on five of the nine blocks. Also, instead of the usual three stages, entertainers will perform on five sets.