Monday’s parade is the highlight of the Port City’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, and this year is no different.
What will be different this year, however, is the parade’s route. Due to ongoing construction on North 3rd Street, the procession will make its way down 4th Street. After starting at the intersection of Harnett and 4th, the parade will head south on 4th before turning west on Princess Street by the county courthouse. After just a block, marchers will turn north again on 3rd Street, passing Wilmington City Hall before heading west on Red Cross Street. Finally, the parade will head back north on Front Street, ending at the intersection of Front and Brunswick.
While the parade itself does not begin until 11 a.m., traffic will be affected starting at 7:30 a.m when parts of 4th Street will be closed from Harnett on south. The majority of street closures will occur around 10 a.m., when all intersections on the parade route will be blocked off to traffic.
Market Street will remain open to grant access to the southern and western parts of downtown. Commuters coming from the south and east should use Market or Wooster Streets to get to 3rd, while those coming from Brunswick County must use the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be no access to downtown via the Isabel Holmes Bridge or MLK Parkway. Those traveling east on the bridge will be redirected north to the parkway, and those driving down MLK will be diverted west to the bridge.
The parade ends at 2 p.m., and streets will open back up once they’ve been cleaned.
Metered parking will be available on streets not along the parade route, and the downtown parking decks on 2nd Street and Water Street will also be open and charging their normal rates.