By Mark Ambrogi
CarmelFest parking typically is not easy, and this year might be even harder.
“It might be a little more challenging with construction in the area,” CarmelFest chairman Gary Sexton said. “James Bednarksi has done a great job putting our action plan together with maps and ordering all new signage and color-coded lots. There will be better guidance along with the roadways for handicapped parking and event sponsors.”
Bednarski, a Carmel resident, said July 3 being a Sunday should help.
“It’s not a lot different, because it’s a Sunday and a Monday, a lot of the local business owners won’t be open,” said Bednarski, who is in charge of the festival’s parking for the second year. “So I think there’s a little more flexibility. The only public parking beyond the street is at The Center for the Performing Arts’ garage. There is handicapped parking off of Range Line Road.”
A free shuttle service from the center’s garage will run to the entrance to the festival on West Gradle Drive.
Bednarski said the old Party Time Rental lot was a place where people used to park.
“That’s all now dirt because it is being developed,” Bednarski said.
Bednarski said his biggest challenge is finding parking spaces for food vendors, VIPs and handicapped spots.
“All those areas are more restrictive than they have been in the past,” Bednarski said. “Those are patrons I’m particularly concerned that they get taken care of. We used to put the big long trailers down at the Party Time lot, and that’s all gone. It’s more challenging from that perspective.”
Bednarski said the business community has been accommodating in helping him find additional spaces. He said he is excited the city is building a new public garage in the area that should be ready for 2017.