With Iowa's largest Celtic festival taking place in Waterloo this weekend, downtown streets around Lincoln Park will be closed to traffic on the city's east side.

East Park Ave. between Mulberry and Franklin Streets will be shutdown the longest. City officials closed the block-long section at 7 AM Wednesday for crews to set up the main entertainment stage for Iowa Iowa Fest. The street is expected to re-open Monday around 2 PM.

Portions of other downtown streets that will be used for the 15th annual event were scheduled to close at 7AM Thursday. They included the following:

  • Mulberry St.: between East 3rd St. and East 5th St.
  • East Park Ave.: between the parking ramp exit and Mulberry Street
  • East 4th St.: between Sycamore St. and Franklin St.
  • Lafayette St.: between East Park Ave. and East 5th St.
  • Sycamore St.: between East Park Ave. and East 4th St.

The streets listed above are all scheduled to re-open at 11 PM Sunday.

The 2021 Iowa Irish Fest will feature a variety of 48 performances from 19 different groups. The event will encompass nine city blocks with activities scheduled to run Friday from 4 PM to midnight, Saturday from 9 AM to midnight and Sunday from 9 AM to 8 PM.

The festival drew an estimated 38,000 visitors to downtown Waterloo in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Iowa Irish Fest organizers to hold a virtual event in 2020. Tickets from 2020 can be used this year.

Downtown Road Closure Not Related To Iowa Irish Fest

Traffic is also being impacted by a road closure this week on the west side of downtown Waterloo. Commercial St. between West 1st St. (U.S. Highway 63 northbound) and West Park Ave. was shut down Monday for a two-part construction project that's expected to be finished by mid-November.

According to city officials, the work will be completed in two stages. The intersection of Commercial St. and West 3rd St. will remain open to cross traffic during the first stage of reconstruction. Work on the intersection will then begin around mid-October, after the project's first phase is completed.

City officials said parking lots for the Waterloo Public Library and the Waterloo Center for the Arts will remain accessible during the construction. To enter the lots, motorists will have to take Jefferson St. to West 3rd St. or use Cedar St. off of West Park Ave.

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