A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Riverfest rules for downtown Covington, Devou Park Sunday, includes parking restrictions, road closures

Familiar restrictions designed to ensure safety and orderly traffic flow will be put in place in the northern part of downtown Covington and Devou Park on Sunday as enormous crowds flock to the riverfront to watch the annual Labor Day weekend fireworks.

File photo

The rules address issues such as road closures, parking, alcohol, skateboards, and glass containers and are similar to those seen the last few years.

They apply in Devou Park and what’s called the downtown Riverfest Impact Area – the area north of East Fourth Street between the Licking River and Madison Avenue, with a contiguous section from Madison to Johnson Street along West Rivercenter Boulevard (see attached map).

“It’s a big event that draws a lot of people but also causes a lot of disruption,” City Manager David Johnston said. “Over the years our Police Department has helped draw up some common-sense rules designed to keep people safe and to mitigate, to the extent we can, the impact on residents and businesses.”

The Covington Police Command Center for the Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks will be located once again at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, at the corner of Madison Avenue and Rivercenter Boulevard.

To help people with disabilities access the Impact Area, police will have a cart and driver on site. People who need this service should contact the Command Center at (859) 409-8509 when they arrive on Sunday.

Road closures

Covington Riverfest impact area (click to enlarge).

All streets north of East Fourth Street from Madison Avenue to the Licking River will be closed to vehicular traffic at 6 p.m.

The Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge will be closed to all traffic beginning at 6 p.m.

The Fourth Street Bridge to Newport will close at 8 p.m.

Madison Avenue will remain open to allow access to public parking lots and garages until they are full or 6 p.m., whichever occurs first. Once the parking lots and garages are full, Madison will be closed to through traffic north of Fourth Street. Exceptions will be made for TANK buses, invitation holders to the Metropolitan Club, and hotel guests with room keys and parking passes.

Access to Devou Park, Kenton Hills, and The Bluffs will be restricted beginning at 2 p.m. to residents and their guests only.

Streets inside of the Impact Area will not reopen and residents and guests will not be permitted to exit the Impact Area in a vehicle until pedestrians have safely cleared out and Covington Police determine that it is safe to do so. This may take up to an hour after the fireworks are completed. (The fireworks begin just after 9 p.m. and last for about 30 minutes.)

Parking

The following areas within the Impact Area will be posted as “No Parking, Tow Away Zones.” Vehicles parked in these areas will be towed starting at 7 a.m., including next to parking meters:

Riverside Drive.

Garrard Street between East Second Street and Riverside Drive.

Kennedy Street between East Second Street and Riverside Drive.

Shelby Street.

Scott Boulevard north of East Fourth Street.

Greenup Street north of East Fourth Street.

East Third Street east of Madison Avenue.

Park Place.

Court Street.

Surface lots along the floodwall on Rivercenter Boulevard between Madison Avenue and Johnson Street and below the Roebling Suspension Bridge.

Grass areas in Devou Park.

All vehicles parked in garages and parking lots located in the Impact Area will not be permitted to leave until pedestrian traffic has cleared and Covington Police have determined that it is safe for vehicle traffic.

Alcohol & other restrictions

Alcohol is prohibited on City property and in public places at all times. All coolers and beverage containers are subject to inspection and will be checked at designated checkpoints.

Anyone wishing to bring alcohol to a private event must have it in the Impact Area before 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., Police officers will not allow anyone – including residents – withalcohol to enter the Impact Area.

Glass containers, bicycles, skateboards, pets, roller blades, roller skates, and fireworks are all prohibited in the Impact Area.

Motorized vehicles or scooters are not permitted on floodwalls.

Swimming in both the Ohio and Licking Rivers is also prohibited during Riverfest.

Mooring along the Covington shoreline is prohibited.

Vendors are not permitted to enter the Impact Area.

City of Covington

*Editor’s note: For information on Newport rules and restrictions, click here.

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