Columbus Day parade tomorrow to take different downtown route

Mount Vernon Square will be starting point

October 11, 2003|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A new parade route and a touch of irreverence will mark tomorrow's Columbus Day parade, a Baltimore tradition since 1890.

The parade will feature comedian Don Novello in his best-known role as Father Guido Sarducci, the chain-smoking, trash-talking Vatican gossip columnist. The faux priest will ride in a Dodge Viper behind Columbus impersonator Don Castronova, organizers said.

This year's parade is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. in Mount Vernon Square rather than in Federal Hill. Organizers said the change makes more room for spectators and parking.

The parade will proceed south on Charles Street, then follow Pratt and President streets. Marchers will continue into Little Italy along Fleet Street, ending at Central Avenue.

The parade will be followed by a sidewalk festival in Little Italy from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Streets around Mount Vernon Square will close to traffic at 10 a.m. The rest of the parade route will be barricaded at 12:45 p.m., city transportation officials said. Motorists are urged to take other routes until the streets reopen about 3:30 p.m. Traffic restrictions will include:

At 10 a.m., Charles Street will be closed from Madison to Franklin streets, as will Centre Street from Cathedral to St. Paul streets, and Mount Vernon Place from Cathedral to St. Paul streets.

At 12:45 p.m., street closings will also be in effect for Charles Street from Franklin to Conway streets; Pratt Street from Howard to President streets. President Street from Pratt to Fleet streets and South Street at Lombard Street will be open for local traffic only.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., parking will be restricted on Mount Vernon Place from Cathedral to St. Paul streets on both sides, and on Centre Street from Cathedral to St. Paul streets on both sides.

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