Vehicle and marine traffic will likely be snarled Sunday during the Festival of Sail in Duluth.
According to the city of Duluth, the Festival of Sail, formerly named Tall Ships Festival, is expected to bring the largest number of visitors to Duluth, for a single event, for the entire year. The event begins Sunday with the Parade of Sail at 9 a.m. and runs through Tuesday.
Duluth police officers will be posted throughout Canal Park to assist as needed during the Parade of Sail. Drivers in the area should expect traffic delays and remain alert to heavy pedestrian traffic. People attending the Parade of Sail are encouraged to park in the downtown area and walk to Canal Park to help reduce traffic congestion, a news release said.
Due to the event, Harbor Drive behind the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to the Great Lakes Aquarium lot entrance was closed to traffic Friday and will remain closed until Tuesday evening.
Beginning Sunday at 7 a.m., metered parking along the east side of South Lake Avenue from the Aerial Lift Bridge to Railroad Street will not be allowed. Parking will reopen following the Parade of Sails.
Canal Park Drive from Buchanan Street to the Marine Museum and all of Morse Street will close to traffic after parking lots in the area have filled for the Parade of Sail on Sunday from 8 a.m. until traffic in the area thins out.
The Aerial Lift Bridge will operate on its regular lift schedule with the exception of the Parade of Sail on Sunday. The bridge will close to marine traffic after 8 a.m. Sunday and will be lifting for the parade starting at 9 a.m. the lifts can be expected to be longer than normal to accommodate the tall ships. After the parade, the bridge will return to the usual lifting hours.
The Minnesota Slip Bridge will operate on restricted hours during the festival. from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. the bridge will be lifting at quarter past and three quarters past the hour. This will allow any vessels leaving the Minnesota Slip time to make the Aerial Lift Bridge scheduled lifts. During the parade Sunday, the slip bridge will be in the lowered position beginning at 7 a.m. and will not lift until the parade has concluded.