This year’s Batabano parade, which will wend its way from Seven Mile Public Beach to downtown George Town on Saturday, will have to contend with a new structure – the underpass which is under construction on West Bay Road.

Organizers said that floats were limited to a maximum height of 18 feet, as that is the height of the new tunnel being built by Dart Real Estate on the site.

WendyAnn George, one of the Batabano committee members, said, “We actually looked at the West Bay tunnel since starting preparations last year and band leaders were told they might have to adjust their flags and lower the music, but we don’t anticipate any other problems.”

She said planning officials had informed organizers about the 18-foot height limit in the tunnel.

The parade will start at 1 p.m. at the public beach. As it makes its way along West Bay Road, sections of the road will be closed off to traffic as the floats pass through. Drivers are reminded to be alert to pedestrians and spectators on the street watching the parade.

Ms. George said people are encouraged to line the streets at a safe distance to support their favorite mas bands and revelers.

Once it arrives in George Town, the parade will turn into Fort Street and then right to Edward Street. Music trucks will turn up Elgin Avenue and revelers turn down Shedden Road and back to Harbour Drive to party.

Road closures

A number of roads will be closed to facilitate the Batabano festival and associated events this weekend.

One of the first closures is on Thursday night, from 8-11 p.m. when Harbour Drive between Warwick Drive and Fort Street will be closed as preparations get under way. That section of road again will be closed from 6 p.m. Friday until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning for the Carnival Friday Night Fete.

A food festival that will be held Saturday will lead Cardinall Avenue and Albert Panton Street to be closed from 7 a.m. to midnight.

On the festival parade route, road closures will be made throughout the afternoon, beginning with the junction of West Bay Road and the Esterley Tibbetts Highway, north of Duke’s restaurant, which will be closed from noon.

As the parade proceeds south along West Bay Road from 1 p.m., road junctions will be closed as the parade proceeds. The procession will continue onto North Church Street all the way to Harbour Drive.

Police advised that Harbour Drive (between Fort Street and Shedden Road), Fort Street, Edward Street, and Shedden Road (between Harbour Drive and Edward Street) will be closed to facilitate the parade.

Also, from 6 p.m. until midnight, when the carnival street dance is taking place on Saturday, Harbour Drive and South Church Street will be closed between Fort Street and Boilers Road.

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