Thousands of people are expected to converge on downtown Rockford Thursday night to celebrate the nation's independence, resulting in some snags for drivers.
Road closures will begin early Thursday morning for the annual MELD Classic 8K/2Mile Run. The event kicks off at 7:00 a.m. and Madison Street from East State north to Y Boulevard will be closed.
The 4th of July Parade will begin at 7:00 p.m., and will start at 7th Street and 6th Avenue before going north on 7th to East State, west to Wyman, and south on Wyman to just south of Cedar. Street closures will begin at 6:00 p.m.
Traffic control will be in place on arterials like 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th Streets to occasionally allow traffic to cross. However, drivers should find alternate routes.
This year, fireworks can be viewed from the 2 northern lanes of the Chestnut Street Bridge. Local parks are also a good spot to catch the show, which will be launched near Davis Park.
City officials are urging people who plan on going downtown to carpool and leave themselves a lot of time to find parking. Also, many spots to watch the parade and fireworks fill up extremely early, so spectators should take that into account.
Limited parking will be available in the parking deck west of the BMO Harris Bank Center for free, but the entire 4th floor is closed to the public. The parking deck on North Main just north of Jefferson near the Coronado will be completely open and various municipal parking lots are also available. Watch for signs at private lots and do not park in any space designated with a tow warning or No Parking sign.
Construction has also closed several area streets, including West State from Kilburn to Johnston, South Main is down to one lane from Montague south, and Auburn Street and North Main is one lane in each direction with no turns allowed.
You can find a schedule of local fireworks events by clicking here.
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