Weekend events to clog Atlanta streets

It’s beginning to look a lot like another big weekend — including a Christmas parade, an early Christmas for fans of one college football team, and traffic — in Atlanta.

Fun begins Saturday morning when the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. It follows Peachtree Street south from Baker Street to Marietta Street before turning right and marching down Marietta Street to Centennial Olympic Park.

The weather should be about as nice as one could hope for a December parade in Atlanta.

Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton is forecasting sunny skies straight through Sunday, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s and low 50s.

Weather will be a lesser concern inside the Georgia Dome for Saturday’s SEC Championship game at the Dome featuring the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Christmas will come early for the winners, who will earn not only the SEC title but a spot in the BCS national championship game in Miami Jan. 7.

Doug Turnbull in the AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB Traffic Center warned that motorists can expect big jams on the Downtown Connector as well as on Williams Street, Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Northside Drive and other nearby surface streets.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 4 p.m., but Turnbull advises to “expect many fans to arrive early for tailgating and fan events at the Georgia World Congress Center.”

“Plan extra time to get to this and other events in the area, and take MARTA if possible,” he said.

The state Department of Transportation has put the ongoing repaving project on the top-end Perimeter on hiatus for the winter, but construction will still be shutting down one of the ramps in the Cobb cloverleaf this weekend.

The ramp from I-75 southbound to I-285 eastbound will be closed for bridge maintenance beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and continuing through 5 a.m. Monday.

In DeKalb County, construction will tie up lanes of I-20 in both directions between Columbia Drive and Wesley Chapel Road all weekend, while in Gwinnett County, road work will block the left lane of I-985 southbound south of Ga. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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