04/21/14 — Parking options announced for Pickle Festival

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Parking options announced for Pickle Festival

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 21, 2014 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Vehicles will not be allowed in the downtown area of Mount Olive on Saturday as the community celebrates a full day of events during the 28th annual North Carolina Pickle Festival.

Downtown streets will be lined with vendors, events and entertainment during the festival that attracts tens of thousands of people annually.

That makes finding a parking place near downtown on the festival's main day somewhat of a challenge.

However, there are some options.

Parking will be allowed on side streets, but once again this year the town will limit parking on those streets to just one side.

"From Church Street to Breazeale Avenue, and Pollock Street to Station Street, there will be parking on just one side of the street," Police Chief Brian Rhodes said. "It will be posted. So far we have done this for three years now, and it has worked out really great.

"But it is actually a fire code. They (fire departments) have to have a 10-foot of right-of-way to be able to get the fire trucks down (the streets). Our streets are so narrow in those areas if they park on both sides, there is not enough room for them to get through. That is the reason it is done."

The fire department posts the signs on the Wednesday or Thursday prior to the festival, he said.

Free shuttles to and from the festival will be provided by the University of Mount Olive throughout the day.

People may park on the university's campus, where the buses will load and unload at Kornegay Arena.

The free shuttle service runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

It is pretty much a circuit and runs about every 15 minutes -- time enough for people to load and unload.

The shuttles unload near the Mount Olive Fire Station on North Center Street.

"That has been a wonderful addition, and we are really grateful to the university for being willing to do that for us for a number of years," said Lynn Williams, one of the festival organizers. "That is a huge help. It helps alleviate the pressure of parking.

"It has really made it easier for folks. We do the (festival) maps and have them on the buses so people can figure out where they are going."

Also, paid parking is normally available at First Baptist Church on John Street and Family Medicine Center on North Breazeale Avenue where the proceeds usually are part of fundraising projects.