Road closures, police security in place for Greensboro 4th festivities

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Downtown Greensboro saw a three-hour break from the rain Friday evening, which gave people just enough time to start their Independence Day holiday celebration.

The annual Kickoff Block Party in the parking lot of the Carolina Theater got started under clear skies with an eager crowd. Within two hours of the band starting, though, it had started to rain again and many people just couldn’t take the steady downpour for too long.

The rain also ruined what turned out to be a quiet night along Elm Street. Just after 6 p.m. Elm, Washington and Greene streets, and other access points, were closed to make room for Saturday’s parade down Greene and street festival on Elm.

Vendors and parade participants are expected to set up well before sunrise on Saturday. One shift of police officers will be arriving to help coordinate that effort. Then another shift is expected as the street festival gets going.

Police said this is an event they start planning for months in advance.

“We want the public to know they're going to be safe down here, we've done our homework and we've planned for months for this event and we will be adequately staffed and prepared for anything that may come our way,” said Captain John Wolfe.

Though there have been warnings from homeland security for police departments around the country to be ready for terrorist activity, Wolfe said there’s been no direct threat against Greensboro.

“There's no information to suggest something is going to happen here in Greensboro but if it does we have contingencies for anything that may happen,” said Wolfe.

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