Around 10,000 people are set to fill Chattanooga's Coolidge Park this weekend for the Moon River Music Festival — but where will they all park?
City officials and festival organizers are encouraging festivalgoers to leave their cars on the other side of the Tennessee River, as parking around the North Chattanooga park will be limited.
The festival does not provide any of its own parking, organizers said.
There will be a complimentary bike valet at the festival's entrance near the Walnut Street Bridge for those cycling to Moon River, according to organizers.
Large paid parking lots next to Coolidge Park will be closed for the weekend. Starting Friday, much of River Street will be closed, aside from the section east of Tremont Street outside the park, city Transportation Coordinator Justin Strickland said by phone.
Tremont Street will also be closed south of River Street, by the Chattanooga Theatre Center, for the weekend and the days leading up to the festival, Strickland said.
Most street parking in the area has a two-hour limit, Strickland said. Festival attendees will have better luck parking in lots or garages across the river, in downtown Chattanooga, and walking over the Walnut Street, Veterans or Market Street bridges to Coolidge Park.
People parking farther from the bridges can use CARTA's free electric shuttle, which runs from the Chattanooga Choo Choo to the Tennessee Aquarium, to shorten the walk.
Parking across the river also leaves street parking open for people not attending the festival who still want to go to North Chattanooga businesses this weekend, Strickland said.
"Frankly, the Moon River patrons have been fantastic ... there's been really very little unexpected issues," Strickland said by phone. "Of course, there's going to be high pedestrian traffic, and, of course, there's going to be more traffic than usual."
For those planning to use rideshares like Uber or Lyft to get to Moon River, organizers said the best drop-off location is 405 River St.
There are two Bike Chattanooga bikeshare stations near the festival — one at the Outdoor Chattanooga building between Coolidge Park and the parking lot, and another at the entrance to Renaissance Park off Cherokee Boulevard.
Performances start at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and end at 10:45 p.m.
The city is also preparing for large crowds and a major road closure Monday, when a parade for Medal of Honor recipient Larry Taylor is scheduled.
The parade will move from the intersection of Market Street and M.L. King Blvd to the Medal of Honor Center near the aquarium, and will close all of Market Street between 12th Street and Frazier Avenue across the river, Strickland said. The city encourages parade attendees to get there early, and those not going to the parade to avoid the area.