A busy weekend in Chattanooga: What you need to know
The weekend of May 17-19 Chattanooga will be full of activities that could affect your downtown plans.
The weekend of May 17-19 Chattanooga will include activities that could affect your downtown plans. Among the events are concerts, competitions, graduations, and even a celebration of toys.
Parking will be at a premium as several roads will be closed off, or reduced to one lane for the Ironman competition.
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Ben Taylor the Director of Transportation Operations for the City of Chattanooga said if you're coming into the city plan ahead.
"So we encourage everybody to check the map on the transportation department's website to find out the best route to get to where you want to go," Taylor said.
He said the best way to get into the city is the interstate.
"So the on-ramps from the interstate will get you over the Ironman route. You can go down to Rossville Blvd. and get off or go to the other side of the route where it crosses down Alton Park Blvd," said Taylor.
On Friday, Nightfall begins at 7:00 p.m. at Miller Plaza. Nearby at the Tivoli theater, there will be two graduation ceremonies: Lookout Valley High School at 5:00 p.m and Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences at 7:30 p.m. At Memorial Auditorium, Red Bank High School graduation begins at 5:00 p.m. and Hamilton County High School has graduation at 8:00 p.m. East Hamilton School will hold its commencement ceremony at 6:00 p.m at McKenzie Arena.
On Saturday at the Tivoli, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Sequoyah High School will hold their graduation ceremony followed by STEM School Chattanooga at 11:30 a.m, Sale Creek High School at 2:30 p.m. and Chattanooga High Center for Creative Arts at 5:30 p.m. At Memorial Auditorium, the ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. for Tyner Academy, 12:00 p.m. Hixson High School, 3:30 p.m. East Ridge High School, and at 7:00 p.m. Signal Mountain High School. Ceremonies begin at 9:00 a.m at McKenzie Arena for Brainerd High School, then at 12:00 p.m Soddy-Daisy High School, and at 3:00 p.m. The Howard School.
For graduation programs at the Tivoli and Memorial Auditorium, no balloons, air horns, or large posters are allowed. Purses are subject to search.
At McKenzie Arena, a clear bag policy is enforced, and bags cannot be any larger than 12 x 12 x 6, essentially the size of a gallon freezer bag. No backpacks are allowed. Purses will be inspected and have a tag placed on them. Everyone will pass through a metal detector. Free parking is available in any lot around McKenzie Arena. Lot 20, however, is reserved for the elderly and handicapped.
If you're attending these events, or if you're not there are a couple of parking options to get around town without the headache of traffic.
"There's parking garages on the Southside, there are parking garages on the Northshore, pick one of those, or park along the Tennessee Riverwalk," said Taylor. "Use the bike share system to come in, a nice easy ride in, and you're not going to deal with any traffic."
The Ironman competition begins early Sunday morning around 5:00 a.m.
Riverfront Parkway will remain closed until the races end on Sunday night.
Keats McGonigal the Senior Regional Director with Ironman said they have 3,800 athletes registered for the race, the biggest one day event they've ever held in North America.
He said if you want to avoid race traffic day of, Ironman has made it easy.
"Use the WAZE app we load our courses in there, and that will direct you around where the traffic is," said McGonigal.
READ MORE | Downtown road closures for 2019 IRONMAN 70.3
Chattanooga's first Lego Fan Convention will take place at the Chattanooga Convention Center Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Brick-Universe will fill the exhibit hall with galleries of life-size lego character sculptures. There will also be several building zones offering thousands of Legos for visitors to let their imaginations run wild. Visitors can also meet professional Lego artists and shop vendors.