Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm (11) passes against Auburn earlier in the 2017 season. The teams will play in Atlanta on Saturday for the SEC Championship.
Photo: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

SEC Championship, Christmas parade: Traffic and weather tips

Weekends in metro Atlanta can test drivers’ patience.

Throw SEC Championship festivities and the Children’s Christmas Parade into the mix, and you can expect guaranteed bottlenecks.

Here are some tips to help you navigate it all as well as the weather forecast from Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Katie Walls.

A BUSY WEEKEND LINEUP  

What: The Children’s Christmas Parade

When: The parade starts at 10:20 a.m. Saturday at Peachtree and 16th streets. The parade ends at noon Peachtree and 5th streets. 

Where: Peachtree Street in Midtown

Estimated attendance: 10,000 to 15,000

Georgia fan Rhett Howard, 7, of Snellville, attempts a pass during a passing challenge at the SEC FanFare at the Georgia World Congress Center on Dec. 6, 2013. Jason Getz / AJC

What: Dr Pepper SEC FanFare

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Georgia World Congress Center

Estimated attendance: 40,000 over two days.

In this Nov. 11, 2017, file photo, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, left, and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, right, meet before an NCAA college football game in Auburn, Ala. No. 6 Georgia is getting ready for a rematch with No. 4 Auburn in the SEC championship game. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

What: SEC Championship between Auburn and Georgia

When: Kickoff is at 4 p.m.

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Estimated capacity: 73,000

TRAFFIC

Preparations for the parade start early Saturday, said Ashley Frasca, traffic reporter for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB. The parade route is south on Peachtree Street, which will be closed between 16th and 5th streets.

“If you’re in and around Midtown, Juniper (Street), Piedmont (Avenue), and Monroe Drive are all good alternate routes to Peachtree Street,” Frasca said.

MORE: Children’s Christmas parade to close major Midtown roads this weekend

As for the game, whenever a large sporting event like the SEC Championship game comes to the city, remember to be patient with out-of-town drivers, Frasca said.

“The area around Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be buzzing with activity all day long, so you do not want to get stuck along Northside Drive or I-75/85, the Downtown Connector,” Frasca said.

Taking MARTA is a great idea, she said. If you’re traveling through the city between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m., you can also take I-285 on either side of Atlanta.

WEATHER

A mostly cloudy sky with a 20 percent chance for a light shower is expected for the parade, Walls said.

“Temperatures during parade time will be warming from the mid- to upper 50s,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The game is indoors, but fans headed for the stadium or related events nearby should see the same cloud cover and rain chances, according to Walls.

“Temperatures at 4 p.m. will be in the lower 60s, cooling into the upper 50s by the end of the game,” she said.

ALSO: SEC Championship: Fan guide for the 2017 game in Atlanta

RELATED: 12 things to know about the SEC Championship game

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