- As the community welcomes residents and visitors for the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival Sept. 27 - 29 at Stephens Lake Park, City of Columbia officials want residents and visitors to be aware of changes and information for the festival.
The Columbia Police Department will restrict traffic flow and parking in the area of Broadway, Old Highway 63 and East Walnut. East Walnut Street from Old Highway 63 to the dead end will be closed to through traffic, and public parking in the East Walnut Neighborhood will be restricted to those with neighborhood passes only. Those without passes will be ticketed and subject to a $50 fine and towing. Parking restrictions will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, and continue until the event's completion on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 29.
Old Highway 63 will be northbound only from Jack Estes to Hinkson, and Walnut will be westbound only from Old Highway 63 to William Street. Traffic going south on Old Highway 63 must turn west on Hinkson. The traffic changes will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Traffic restrictions on Saturday and Sunday will begin at 11 a.m. and continue until the event's completion.
There is no event parking, stopping, or pick-up/drop-off areas on or along Walnut Street or Old Highway 63; vehicles dropping off attendees are to pull into the Stephens Lake Park spraygrounds lot off Old Highway 63. Individuals utilizing rideshare services such as Lyft or Uber will have designated drop-off and pick-up locations in the spraygrounds lot off Old Highway 63. There will be ADA-accessible parking at the Riechmann Pavilion, 2300 E. Walnut St. Those who are not attending the festival are asked to avoid the area to cut down on congestion.
There is limited parking around the festival area, so event-goers are encouraged to park downtown and take advantage of the free shuttle service. Roots N Blues will be providing free shuttles from downtown parking garages. Shuttles from downtown to the festival will be yellow school buses and there will be ADA shuttles available. The free shuttles will start at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and will run until the event’s completion each night. The shuttles will pick up after the last performance each night in the parking lot of Riechmann Pavilion to take attendees back downtown. Parking in downtown garages is free after 6 p.m. on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday - except spaces marked as ‘24-hour enforced. Event-goers should be mindful to not park on private property or block streets and driveways.
Unlike years past, Go COMO, the City's public transit system, will not be offering special services for the festival. Go COMO will run on its regular schedule and routes Friday and Saturday, but it does not run on Sunday. Festival attendees may use Go COMO’s regular services to get to the festival but will need to remember there will be no Go COMO services after 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday or at any time on Sunday. Attendees using Go COMO services to get to the festival will need to plan accordingly. The bus stop closest to Stephens Lake Park is located at the park's south edge along Broadway for the 6/Green Route. Attendees getting off at this stop will need to use the park paths to get to Riechmann Pavilion on the north side of the park to gain entry to the festival, as there is no general festival admission entrance on the south side of the park. Go COMO Transit service hours:
Friday, Sept. 27: 6:25 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 29: No service
Stephens Lake Park, west of the dam, will remain open for public use.
For general information about the festival, visit rootsnbluesnbbq.com
or download the free app, search Roots N Blues.