GRIFFITH | Portions of North Broad Street will be closed to traffic, one stretch as early as today, to accommodate a Labor Day weekend celebration.
Griffith's 5th annual Rock 'N' Rail Street Festival is from 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 p.m. to midnight Sunday in the 100-200 blocks of North Broad Street.
Drivers should be aware of the road closings, said Council Vice President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd. The 100-200 blocks of North Broad will close at 10 a.m. today; the 300 block will close at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
He added that the 400 block may also be closed Friday to accommodate a car show.
Ryfa said the festival mirrors the evolution of the downtown business district over the past few years.
"The fact that the festival is held on the street seems to bring additional investors into town who get to see a close up of downtown Griffith for the first time," Ryfa said.
When the event first began, there were empty downtown stores and many storefronts needed work, said festival music emcee Billy Wayne.
The fest includes food, art and craft vendors, a beer garden and 19 different bands over the three-day run providing live music every night.
The YMCA will hold a 5k run at noon Saturday and there will be a Kids' Fun Zone on Saturday and Sunday.
A car show, sponsored by the Griffith Fire Department, is from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Changes are coming to this year's beer garden, Ryfa said, including a family section.
The Pub, from Griffith Crossings, will be inside the garden and various craft beers will be featured along with domestic, import and wine selections.
"In memory of our dear friend, the Tony Gonzalez Craft Beer Corner is being created," Ryfa said. The new feature is named for the town's redevelopment commissioner, who died last year.