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      Mardi Gras setup leads to street closures

      Mardi Gras vendors met at the Civic Center before being directed to their street location

      Friday was a dreary and drizzly but a sunny forecast has coordinators and vendors for the Mardi Gras Street Festival gearing up.

      The 100 to 200 blocks of Broad Avenue and the 100 block of Washington Street closed at 2 p.m. on Friday to begin vendor set-up.

      They say they plan on setting up shop through midnight Friday.

      "Set up hasn't been as smooth as it has been in the past but we're on top of things, we're trying to keep the vendors happy, we just ask that everyone be patient with us," says Event Coordinator Teresa Smith.

      Last week TMs postponed street festival was moved to this Saturday because of severe weather last Saturday.

      The street festival runs from noon until midnight. Admission is $5 or free for children 10 and under.

      Organizers are requesting those who attend the street festival to use the Jackson Street parking deck and surrounding areas for parking. All downtown businesses will remain open.