AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival is back in town this weekend! And while we can expect food, vendors and artists, we can also expect road closures.
Those roads will be:
Tuesday (9/12) 11pm:
- Albion & Broad St.
- 8th Street (from Ellis to Broad)
- 9th Street (next to the Board of Education from Ellis to Broad)
- Broad Street will close from 7th Street to 10th Street
Wednesday (9/13) 11pm:
- McCartan from Broad to Jones
- 9th Street from Broad to Jones
- The parking well on the 600 block of Broad Street (across from the Ramada hotel)
- One lane (eastbound) of Reynolds will close from 9th to 8th Street
The festival ends at 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the roads closures will remain in place until the Sheriff’s Office deems the areas to be safe for traffic.
Arts in the Heart Operations Director Mike Sleeper said the road closures are the same as they were in years past, but there are some things he wants people to be aware of.
Last year, over 100,000 people showed up to the three-day festival. This year, they’re expecting that same number, if not more.
And in order to set up and keep everyone safe, they need to close Broad Street.
“If your vehicles [are] there, we’re going to ask that you take it off the festival site, so that we can build it safely, mark it out,” Sleeper said. “Broad Street will re-open Sunday night once we clear everything out and it’s safe for people to come back on the festival site.”
Sleeper believes everything the festival has to offer will make up for this.
“We’ve got well over one hundred fine arts and crafters, we’ve got five stages with all kinds of music, we’ve got Ryan Abel, you’ve got jazz, you’ve got rock and roll, you’ve got some classic, we’ve got spoken word, we’ve got comedy, we’ve got it all,” he said. “Plus you’ve got nineteen countries cooking the most amazing food you will ever eat.”
With this much going on, parking will be difficult. Sleeper recommends to show up early, and be prepared to wait – and walk.
He also said security and safety won’t be an issue, with Richmond County deputies and Central EMS covering the whole event.
“We can handle everything Augusta can throw at us,” he said. “And we really hope they come out, they show, they see, and I hope they have a great time because we’re having fun putting this together for you.”
And local store owners said despite the roads being closed, they’re looking forward to the business the festival will bring in.
“We’ll be closed on Thursday and Monday because Broad Street will be closed, but the weekend makes up for it,” said Michael J. Weldon, the owner of Psychotronic Records. “There’s so many people here, and a lot of them come in here. Usually I have to ask people to leave because it’s a small store, but we do great business during Arts in the Heart and we’re glad it happens.”
The festival hours are Friday 5pm – 9pm, Saturday 11am – 9pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm.
Children 10 and under have free admittance. Badges are $15 per person starting Sept. 15th, both online and at the festival entrance gates. Printed online tickets can be exchanged at the festival gates for a festival badge. For more information, advance badges, menus and stage schedules click here.