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Oxford readies for festival patrons

Folks planning on visiting the Square Thursday night should make other arrangements if they plan on over indulg- ing than just letting their vehicle remain at the Square and getting a ride home.

North Lamar Boulevard from Jefferson Avenue to the Square will be closed to pedestrian traffic only starting at 4 a.m. Friday. Any cars left on North Lamar or Monroe Avenue past 4 a.m. will be towed, according to the Oxford Police Department.

The road is closed to allow for crews to build the stage for this weekend’s Double Decker Arts Festival. The event kicks off Friday night and will again take place in conjunction with Thacker Mountain Radio Hour and will be free and open to the public. This will be the fourth year for the partnership between Thacker and the festival.

The show will be held on the Ole Miss Athletics stage on North Lamar starting at 6 p.m. with Southaven rocker Cory Branan. Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will begin at 7 p.m. The Nightowls, an R&B and soul band from Texas, will close the show at 8 p.m. and perform for about an hour.

On Saturday, all streets around the Square will be closed to traffic beginning at 4 a.m., including the city-owned parking lots that will be used for vendors. Any cars left on the Square, North and South Lamar boulevards, Van Buren Avenue, East Jackson Avenue or in any city parking lots after 4 a.m. Saturday will be towed, according to OPD.

All music will be performed on the Ole Miss Athletics Stage on North Lamar Boulevard.

After 10 a.m. Saturday, the city parking lot behind the Oxford University Club will be opened.

To avoid having to try to find a parking spot on the Square, the city will operate a shuttle service from Oxford High School, located off Sisk Avenue, to the Square for the duration of the festival. Cost is $5 per person, but riders age 12 and younger are free. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Oxford University Transit buses will run their regular schedule Saturday, however, the buses will not be stopping on the Square. The closest stop to the Square for the Blue route will be on University Avenue near South Lamar Boulevard and on the Red route will be near Handy Andy Grocery on North Lamar Boulevard.

Full staff

OPD will be fully staffed this weekend to make sure the festival is safe and fun for all, according to Maj. Jeff McCutchen.

“It will be all-hands- on-deck,” he said Wednesday. “We will have our Mounted Patrol and reserve officers out on the Square.”

OPD will have a staging area on the Square next to City Hall.

“That is a good place to make it the meet-up area, so if someone in your party gets lost or separated, everyone can meet up at our staging area,” McCutchen said.

McCutchen said no coolers will be allowed on the Square and all dogs must be on a leash.

Double Decker posters and T-shirts will be on sale Friday and Saturday next to City Hall. Double Decker bus tours will run all day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Children’s Square Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Lafayette County Chancery Building park- ing lot.

Saturday’s headliner will be Michael Franti & Spearhead. Before Franti takes the stage Saturday night, the day’s musical entertainment will begin at 10 a.m. and go all day. Other featured musicians for the weekend include Orgone, The Bellfuries, Riverside Voodoo and Lettuce, who will take the stage right before Franti at 7 p.m.

For a complete list of musical acts and all Double Decker activities, see the Double Decker special section in today’s EAGLE.