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Diamond Park busy with parade, race today

Mar. 16—St. Patrick's Day activities will take over Diamond Park and other nearby areas before and after noon today, impacting drivers in the city and into West Mead Township.

Events begin with Judith's Jig Memorial 5K, which starts in the Diamond at 10 a.m. In addition to the traditional run/walk, the event will include a new feature: Judith's Jaunt Around the Diamond, "a family-friendly option for folks of all ages," according to the Meadville Business and Professional Women's Club, which organizes the event each year. "Participants can do a fun lap around the Diamond full of giveaways and fun."

Race day registration for both the jaunt ($10) and the 5K ($30) opens at 9 a.m. at the Meadville-Western Crawford County Chamber of Commerce, 908 Diamond Park.

Pre-race street closures will start as early as 9 a.m., according to race organizers.

The race begins at Diamond Park, travels south on South Main Street to Poplar Street, then turns east and continues to Liberty Street, where it turns south and continues to Ranz Bar and Grill, 10950 Liberty St.

Intersections along the entire course of the race will be barricaded and staffed by volunteers and auxiliary police.

Once the roads are blocked, vehicles are not allowed to travel down the race route, but volunteers and auxiliary police will direct traffic through some intersections along the route at their discretion. If the volunteers or police cannot allow traffic to cross an intersection, the vehicles will be expected to turn around.

The roads are expected to re-open by 11:30 a.m.

The 2024 Jack Curtin St. Patrick's Day Parade and Celebration leaves Diamond Park at noon, then heads down Chestnut Street to the Downtown Mall.

Chestnut Street from Diamond Park to Water Street will be closed to traffic from 11 a.m. until shortly after the parade concludes.

"The parade should be over by 12:30 p.m. at the very latest," said Andy Walker, a member of the organizing committee.

Chestnut Street intersections at Park Avenue, Market Street and Water Street will remain open to traffic, but vehicles will be held by auxiliary police while parade participants pass, Walker said. Alleys along the route will be closed to traffic.

St. Patrick's Day enthusiasts can still register to march in the parade if they have not done so already. To join in, participants must wear some green, according to organizers.

Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.