Tickets and towing can definitely dampen the Azalea Festival spirit; here's what you need to know when parking over the weekend. On-street metered spaces will be free, but good luck finding one. Many of them are off limits, closed for the street fair and parade, so you'll probably have to park at some distance and walk to the parade. Or you can park at the Independence Mall and take the shuttle into town from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The cost is a $1.50 per person each way and will run every seven minutes. And speaking of parade…here's the route. It starts at Red Cross and North Third, traveling down Third toward Market. It will then go right on Market to Second Street…traveling down Second...left on Walnut...right on Front. The parade ends on Hanover and North Front. Starting tonight at ten, those streets will be closed off for the parade. They will be reopening Saturday at one. Other important closures... Front Street will be closed to cars from Walnut to Orange, up to Second and down to Water beginning at 6pm and not reopening until Sunday at 8pm. Water Street from Walnut to Market is closed as of now until Sunday at 8 pm. Parking in the Second Street deck and the Market Street deck will charge five dollars Saturday and Sunday.
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