MODESTO — The force the Modesto police force will be with George Lucas today when he makes an appearance during the Graffiti parade.
Extra police will assist in dignitary protection for Lucas, as well as provide crowd and traffic control, according to officer Scott Nelson.
Because of the dignitary protection element, Nelson said he could not release the number of additional officers that will be used.
Police staffing will reflect what is expected to be a significant increase from previous years in the number of spectators.
Police recommend that spectators car-pool to the event and arrive early to allow extra time to park.
Several roads will be closed, and parking will be restricted beginning at 2 p.m. (see parade map.
I Street, J Street and all cross streets from 10th Street to 17th Street will be closed.
G Street and H Street will remain open, as well as K Street and the roadways north of the parade route.
The parade and road closures are expected to stay in effect until about 9 p.m.
Police ask paradegoers to be aware of the temporary "no parking" signs posted on the route and surrounding staging area.
The signs will be posted well in advance and strictly enforced because vehicles in those areas would interfere with the parade.
Modesto's ordinance against cruising will be enforced on McHenry Avenue after the event.
There are a variety of free and paid parking options available downtown.
Ninth Street garage across from the DoubleTree Hotel
Garage at the corner of 11th and K streets near Brenden Theatres
Center Plaza lot on 11th Street between K and L streets
Lots across from the Transit Center on Ninth Street (Ninth and I, Ninth between I and J)
Street parking that are not along the parade route or staging area will be available. Areas that are limited by time will not be enforced after 4 p.m.
The CrossPoint Community Church parking lots are available and only a few blocks north of the parade route. They are in the area of 11th Street and 12th Street, from Needham Avenue to M Street.