The 108th Astoria Regatta Festival centerpiece parade, the 2002 U.S. Bank Astoria Grand Land Parade, is being held noon Saturday in downtown Astoria.

This year's parade route is the same as last year's popular downtown route, starting at 17th and Exchange streets. The Parade will go one block north to 17th and Duane, where it will turn west and go to 8th Street. From there, it will turn north to 8th and Commercial, then east on Commercial to 16th Street, where it will turn south and disband at 16th and Exchange.

Several downtown streets will be closed, and traffic rerouted. Working with the Astoria Police Department, Astoria Public Works Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Regatta Association has developed a traffic plan that helps minimize the impact of the parade and still allows residents and visitors to travel around the city.

The parade will be organized along Exchange Street and side streets up to Franklin, between 20th Street and 17th Street. Regatta Association volunteers and Astoria Police Department personnel will limit access to this area to parade entries only. Access to Columbia Memorial Hospital will be available from the west by turning right on 20th from Marine Drive, and from the east along Exchange from 23rd Street.

Parking will not be available on the parade route Saturday morning from 8:45 a.m. until the end of the parade. Vehicles parked along the parade route need to be removed by their owners before 8:45 a.m. or their vehicles will be towed.

In order to accommodate traffic through downtown Astoria, Marine Drive will be turned into two-way traffic from 8th Street to 16th Street, from 11:00 a.m. until the parade is over at approximately 1:30 p.m..

The Astoria Regatta Association appreciates the understanding and cooperation of the community with the traffic restrictions before and during the parade.

We'd like to invite everyone to come down to downtown Astoria and watch the 2002 U.S. Bank Astoria Grand Land Parade. With three marching bands, including a bagpipe band, floats, beauty queens, lots of pirates, clowns and fire trucks, this year's Grand Land Parade is shaping up to be one of the best ever.

For more information, contact Jeff Newenhof, Parade Chairman, Astoria Regatta Association at (503) 325-4511 or 503-325-2652, or e-mail: parade@astoriaregatta.org

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