Busy Cincinnati weekend means road closings and heavy traffic

CINCINNATI – The Queen City will be hopping this weekend with multiple events drawing thousands of visitors to Downtown.

The biggest event will be the 2018 Cincinnati Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium. The annual R&B music festival begins Thursday and ends Saturday with a performance from singer Jill Scott.

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An estimated 60,000 visitors attend the three-day event each year. A series of related events have started taking place Downtown during the same weekend in recent years.

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Those events (and others) will add up to two things this weekend – road closures and higher-than-normal Downtown traffic.

Here's a breakdown of what's going on and which roads to avoid if you're planning to go Downtown.

Elm, Race and Rosa Park streets, along with Marion Spencer and Freedom ways south of Second Street will be closed to through traffic from 4-7 p.m. before the Cincinnati Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium each day.

Southbound Central Avenue south of Seventh Street; Fourth Street between Elm Street and Central Avenue; eastbound Third Street between the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge and Third Street; eastbound West Pete Rose Way between Gest Street and Central Avenue; and Elm, Race and Rosa Park streets, along with Marion Spencer and Freedom ways south of Second Street will be closed from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. after the music festival ends each day.

Freedom Way between Elm and Rosa Parks streets will be closed from 10 a.m. Thursday until 7 p.m. Sunday for Festival 513, an all-day street market near Paul Brown Stadium that is part of the music festival.

East Fifth Street between Vine and Walnut streets will be closed starting at 6 p.m. Friday through midnight Sunday for the third annual Cincy Soul food festival. The food fest kicks off Friday evening and continues through Sunday. Cincy Soul will showcase 55 local, minority-owned businesses and feature live music Saturday and Sunday evenings on Fountain Square. 

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Saturday may be the busiest day to go downtown.

West Pete Rose Way and Mehring Way will be closed Saturday morning for the inaugural Vibe Queen City 5K. The race goes from 8-10 a.m. Saturday.

East 12th Street from Broadway to Sycamore streets in Pendleton will be closed Saturday for DangerWheel. The adult big wheel race and neighborhood festival will take place from noon-11 p.m. Saturday.

And though there won't be road closings because of it, expect heavier traffic along the riverfront as fans go to see homegrown pop band Walk the Moon play a show at Great American Ball Park on Saturday. The band will take the stage 20 minutes after the Cincinnati Reds finish their 6:40 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Click on the icons in the map below for a detailed rundown of road closings.

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