With thousands of people descending on downtown Rock Hill this week for the 10-day Come-See-Me festival, drivers will have to navigate construction zones and road detours to reach signature events such as the Beach Bash and the “Blooming Gardens” parade.
Many sections of roads on the eastern side of downtown have been closed off for weeks and will continue to be closed as construction continues on a new office building, parking garage and public park.
On the other end of the downtown area, close to Winthrop University, some roads are shut down as crews install new utility lines and sidewalks.
Rock Hill officials say many downtown roads will remain closed because of the active construction zones, but plenty of parking will be available and signs will be posted to help Come-See-Me visitors find their way.
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Friday, the day of the Beach Bash and other events, is expected to give drivers more hardships than Thursday, the day of the parade, or Saturday, which has a full day of activities, including the popular annual charity bed race.
Organizers recommend that visitors use Dave Lyle Boulevard to get into a parking lot on White Street or the Black Street parking garage. Both of those parking areas and the parking lot behind Rock Hill City Hall, which can be reached from Hampton Street, will remain open throughout Come-See-Me.
Drivers can access Hampton Street easiest from Johnston Street, but parts of Main and Black streets will be open for traffic to reach the Hampton Street parking lot.
The best advice for drivers is to follow detour signs and directions that will be posted during Come-See-Me, city spokeswoman Katie Quinn said.
Festival-goers also should allow for extra time to find parking, Come-See-Me spokeswoman Alison Mallard said.
Despite the construction and closed road, she said, festival organizers felt strongly about holding some of Come-See-Me’s most popular events downtown again this year.
“Downtown is such a nice environment for bringing people together,” Mallard said.
Due to the road detours, Come-See-Me organizers worked with Rock Hill officials to adjust this year’s parade route downtown.
On Thursday, the parade will start on Oakland Avenue and travel to Main Street, where it will turn right. From there, the parade will turn right again into the Wells Fargo bank parking lot, at the corner of Dave Lyle Boulevard and Main Street.
Here are expected road closures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, affecting Come-See-Me:
• Main Street – Closed from Saluda Street to Elizabeth Lane
• Elizabeth Lane – Closed from Black Street to Main Street
• Saluda Street – Closed from Black Street to Main Street
• Black Street – Open to traffic, but one lane will be closed in some sections of the road
• West White Street – Closed from Laurel Street to Stewart Avenue
• Stewart Avenue – Closed from Constitution Boulevard to White Street
These roads will be closed, starting at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, for the parade:
• Oakland Avenue – From 135 S. Oakland Ave. to Main Street
• Main Street – From Oakland Avenue to the Wells Fargo parking lot
These roads and areas will be closed for Friday’s events:
• Black Street – From Hampton Street to the parking garage entrance, starting at 10 a.m.; the Black Street parking lot, across from City Hall, also will be closed starting at 10 a.m.
• Main Street – From Hampton Street to Dave Lyle Boulevard, 3-9 p.m.
• Caldwell Street – From Main Street to the Old Town Market Hall, 3-8 p.m.
On April 12, Main Street will be closed starting at 6 a.m. for the “Make a Bed & Make a Difference Bed Race,” which raised money for Family Promise of York County. Main Street will be closed from Oakland Avenue to Dave Lyle Boulevard until about 2 p.m.