04/18/18 — Don't get in a pickle parking for festival

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Don't get in a pickle parking for festival

By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 18, 2018 5:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE ---- The tens of thousands of people who will pack into Mount Olive for the 32nd annual N.C. Pickle Festival will find that parking is not nearly as plentiful as all things pickle.

Finding a place to park downtown could be an issue during the festival's full day of activities and events on Saturday, April 28.

It could be an issue on Friday night, April 27, as well because of the expanded offerings.

For those who want to avoid the traffic congestion, free parking will be available at Kornegay Arena on the University of Mount Olive campus on Henderson Street on that Saturday.

And from there people can ride a free shuttle to and from downtown.

The shuttle will run about every 15 minutes between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

It will drop off, and pick up passengers, at the corner of Henderson and North Center streets where a welcome center will be set up.

When passengers step off the bus they will be greeted by volunteers passing out festival brochures.

There will be Mr. and Mr. Pickle cutouts, too.

"We want people to pose and take a picture there," festival co-chair Julie Beck said.

Free parking will be available on streets off the downtown area, but it is limited to just one side of a street.

Parking is not allowed on both sides in order to keep the street open for emergency vehicles.

The sides were no parking is allowed is marked by no parking signs.

Free handicapped parking will be available at the Convention of Original Free Will Baptist Churches headquarters (the old Steele Memorial Library building) at the corner of West James and North Chestnut streets.

A handicapped parking placard or license tag is required in order to be able to park in this lot.

Also, there will be four paid parking lots.

They will be located at Mount Olive Family Medicine, North Breazeale Avenue; First Baptist Church Christian Life Center, West John Street; First United Methodist Church, East James Street; and the parking lot at the old IGA store at the corner of South Church and East Main streets.

Boy Scout troops are operating the lots at Family Medicine Center and the old IGA as fundraisers, while the other two lots are fundraisers for the churches.

The cost is $5 for each lot.

Most of the parking space at Mount Olive Town Hall will be reserved for vendors. Also, the lot behind the Southern Bank headquarters will be reserved for vendors at the Artisan Village and Got to be N.C. areas. A pass will be required to park in that lot.

Festival-goers are asked to mindful of parking and not to block streets and driveways, police Chief Tommy Brown said.

There will be a strong law enforcement presence both days, Brown said.