Traffic in Gainesville could be a bit difficult to navigate this morning.
One of Gainesville’s busiest streets will be closed for the 10th anniversary Memorial Day parade.
The event to honor veterans is one of the largest in Gainesville and will begin at 10 a.m.
Gainesville police will begin closing the streets along the parade route at 8:45 a.m. today.
The parade will start at First Baptist Church on Green Street and continue to E.E. Butler Parkway at Spring Street.
The route will be completely closed while the parade is taking place and will remain closed until the last float has left the route, usually at about 12:30-12:45 p.m.
The side roads that spill into Green Street also will be blocked.
“There will be officers stationed at traffic control points during the event to assist with diverting traffic around the area and answering any questions drivers may have,” police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook said.
The Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7 puts on the event, and Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic, who is leaving office Dec. 31 after three consecutive four-year terms, will serve as grand marshal.
The parade will feature Cecil Boswell, a World War II veteran who walks the route waving at onlookers in the uniform he wore when he was discharged from the U.S. Army, Gainesville pilot Tony Manzo flying over the parade route in his bright yellow Boeing-made P-17 Stearman biplane and bands from Chestatee, Flowery Branch and West Hall high schools.
Overall, Dave Dellinger, post commander, has said he expects the parade “will be even bigger this year than the last couple of years.”
The event will go on rain or shine, but lightning will put an end to festivities.
Parade watchers typically show up early, setting up lawn chairs along Green Street, so Dellinger recommends arriving early to get a good viewing spot.
Sgt. Dean Staples has said parade watchers could park for free at the downtown parking deck off Main Street and the downtown square.
The Gainesville Civic Center on Green Street isn’t an option for parking.
“It will be covered up because we’re going to use it as staging area” in addition to First Baptist, Staples said.
Staff writer Jeff Gill contributed to this report.