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Holiday event to close Green Street on Sunday
Christmas tour of homes set for 5-7 p.m. through historic district
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Christmas on Green Street will literally take place on Green Street this year, not just to the sides.

The Department of Transportation gave organizers of the annual event the OK to close Green Street to traffic from 5 to 7 p.m. today.

Gainesville Police Lt. Brian Kelly it will be much safer for people to tour the historic homes on Green Street without cars speeding by.

Christmas on Green Street opens up many of the picturesque old homes along the road to visitors. Volunteer docents, dressed in Victorian costumes, will be on hand to tell the history of each house featured.

In addition, local high school, middle school, and elementary band and chorus students will perform festive music on the porches of the highlighted homes.

A parade of antique cars starts at 5 p.m., starting at the Rotary tree at Academy Street, down Green Street to the Civic Center and returning back along Green Street.

Gainesville Police have a plan to make sure the holiday cheer doesn’t cause any headaches for motorists.

"We’re going to actually start the shutting down process a little after 4 (p.m.)," Kelly said. "We’ve got to reroute some of the state routes that are coming into Green Street."

Kelly said many of the smaller streets, such as Ridgewood Avenue and Forrest Avenue that feed into Green Street, will be barricaded at their intersections.

Major routes that feed into Green Street will be detoured.

Southbound traffic on Thompson Bridge Road and U.S. 129 will rerouted to Enota Avenue toward Park Hill Drive.

Green Street will be shut down just south of Holly Drive.

"We can’t let any traffic go northbound onto E.E. Butler at Jesse Jewell, and we can’t let any vehicles turn left or right off of Jesse Jewell onto E.E. Butler," Kelly said.

Kelly recommended visitors use smaller roads to maneuver toward the Christmas on Green Street festivities.

"The best thing for any spectators trying to get closer to the venue would be to go through some of the back neighborhoods around Springdale Drive off of Enota Avenue and or the Holly Piedmont area and of course through the downtown square proper and through the Brenau campus," Kelly said. "The surface streets are still there, they’ll just have to work a little bit. It’s going to take a little more time to get closer to the venue."

Kelly said plenty of officers will be on the streets to help direct traffic and avoid confusion.

"I’ve got officers stationed with traffic boards at every one of the major route detour sections as far as state routes so we’ll try to be assisting as best as we can at those locations," Kelly said.