Parking Is Made Available For Comedy Festival Visitors

New wayfinding signs put up by the Jamestown Renaissance Corp. are meant to direct residents and tourists alike to cultural attractions including the National Comedy Center, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, Northwest Arena, Lucille Ball Little Theatre and more. The signs will also help visitors navigate to available parking. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival brings thousands of guests to the city of Jamestown every year to enjoy the craft of comedy in the hometown of TV legend Lucille Ball. But that doesn’t mean that locals should be overwhelmed.

“We want to encourage local people to attend the comedy festival,” said Lisa Hatch, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. executive director.

The Jamestown Renaissance Corp. wants to make sure that residents and tourists alike are able to successfully navigate the city and enjoy what the festival has to offer. JRC has placed wayfinding signs around Jamestown in order for people to find their way to local cultural attractions, including the soon-to-be-open National Comedy Center.

Directions for parking are also included on these signs. Hatch wants to accommodate the estimated 30,000 people who are expected to show up for the week of the festival. That number is 15,000 more than usually expected during festival time thanks to the highly anticipated comedy center’s grand opening.

Use of parking ramps is highly encouraged by Hatch and the JRC. The garages located at Cherry and Spring streets have no time limit, making them perfect locations for those who want to spend entire days visiting Jamestown. More public parking is also available on Second and Fourth streets. Twelve-hour meters will be available on Washington, Lafayette and Fifth streets. Two-hour meters will mostly be available on Third, Fourth and Lafayette streets.

After perhaps seeing a performance or touring the center for the first time, the public is welcome to experience some of the free events this week. The Jamestown Public Market on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Cherry Street will feature family-friendly humor courtesy of comedy group Karate Sleepover. Wine tastings are offered for adults, and free snow cones will be given to those of all ages.

Block parties will also populate the week. A Reg Lenna block party will feature live music of The Untouchables and food and drink vendors Wednesday at 5 p.m. Another block party outside the Reg Lenna will showcase The Porcelain Busdrivers on Thursday at 5 p.m.

A National Comedy Center block party will be hosted Friday at 5 p.m. with live music provided by TPT.

On Wednesday Conduit Ministries will be hosting a carnival at Lillian Dixon Park from 6-8 p.m. The Babe Ruth World Series and parade will commence Saturday with the parade going down Third Street at 9 a.m. followed by the first game at Russell E. Diethrick Park at noon.

“We’re encouraging people to park, walk and enjoy,” Hatch said.

Window fronts have been cleaned up as part of an initiative to get Jamestown at its most presentable for this part of the year. Owner of Twisted Custom Design and artist Justin Dombroski painted an octopus on Third Street after being commissioned by JRC.

Blue kiosks will acts as map holders throughout the city, so visitors can avoid getting lost. City ambassadors, otherwise known as the “directors of first impressions” by Hatch, will be available to help at local businesses to welcome people and answer questions they may have.

Hatch wants residents to be proud of their city and how clean and thriving it’s become. She said visitors should have no trouble navigating once they’ve parked and decided on where to go. She suggests that strolling along the streets be part of this week’s experience.

“It’s a good time for businesses here; it’s nice to watch a whole city get reborn,” Hatch said. “Jamestown has a lot to be proud of.”

A look at Jamestown Up Close on Facebook and their official website can also provide destinations and a map of of attractions. Portable toilets will be made available at the Jamestown Emporium and Comedy Center Park at the Riverwalk. Hatch thinks anyone who wants to attend the festival will find their needs taken care of.

“We want people to come and enjoy themselves and not have to worry about these little things,” Hatch said.