NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The holiday magic is returning to Downtown Norfolk this weekend, but don’t let traffic or street closures cause you to lose it.

A trio of events Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 19-20) – the Norfolk Harbor 5K, the Grand Illumination Parade and the Norfolk Harbor Half-Marathon and 10K – will mean street closures and having to find parking, and the city and Hampton Roads Transit have outlined their plans.

Residents, visitors and business should expect traffic delays Saturday between 6 and 11 a.m., and from 3 to 10 p.m., and again Sunday from 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. during the events.

People can text “NFKHARBOR” to 888-777 for Norfolk Harbor race weekend street closures, parking updates and other information.

For parade updates, text “NFKPARADE” to 888-777.

Norfolk Harbor 5K

It starts with the Norfolk Harbor 5K Saturday morning, with the race course being secured by 7:30 a.m. and the race beginning at 8 a.m. Waterside Drive will be closed from about 4 a.m. through 10:15 a.m., and Boush Street southbound at Brambleton will be restricted from about 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Here’s a map of the 5K course.

Grand Illumination Parade

The roughly hour-long parade will begin rolling street closures for streets on and adjacent to the route by 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Times are subject to change as directed by Norfolk Police.

The parade begins at 7 p.m., with the 2-mile route starting off at Main Street and St. Paul’s Boulevard and continuing on Main Street to Granby Street, turning right on Granby Street to Freemason Street, turning left on Freemason Street to Boush Street, then left on northbound Boush Street to Waterside Drive and ending at the intersection of Waterside Drive and St. Paul’s Boulevard in front of the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.

Here are the following street closures associated with the Grand Illumination Parade:

  • Park Avenue from Holt Street to Main Street: closes at noon for parade staging
  • Water Street from the Interstate 264 overpass east to Park Avenue: closes at noon for parade staging
  • Waterside Drive
  • St. Paul’s Boulevard southbound from City Hall Avenue
  • Main Street
  • Granby Street from Main Street to Freemason Street
  • Boush Street from Freemason Street to Main Street

Following the parade, Waterside Drive will reopen to allow for traffic to exit out of downtown. At about 10:30 p.m., westbound Waterside Drive will close from Atlantic Street to Main Street, and eastbound will close from Main Street to Martins Lane. Waterside Drive will close completely at 4 a.m. Sunday.

The parade is free and open to the public. You can bring chairs and food is for sale at various vendors along the route, and will be available at restaurants along the parade route. Porta-johns are available along the route for bathroom use.

If you don’t want to deal with the traffic and still want to view the parade, it will be streamed on Facebook Live @DowntownNorfolk at 7 p.m. Saturday. In addition to the parade, behind-the-scenes action will also be streamed.

Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon and 10K

Streets will be closed or restricted for the races, and then reopened when the last runner passes.

Both race courses will be secured by 7 a.m., with races beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Here are maps of the half marathon course and the 10K course.

Downtown parking

On-street parking restrictions will vary in downtown Friday through Sunday. The city encourages people to use one of the downtown parking garages and asks people to pay careful attention to posted “No Stopping/No Parking” signs regarding parking restrictions.

For the Grand Illumination Parade, early bird parking rates will be available until 5 p.m. at most garages for $3, and are $5 thereafter. Most city garages require you to pay upon entry. The Dominion Tower Garage will be $5 from 3 to 6 p.m. Hourly rates will apply during all other hours. The Waterside Garage will be $10 from 5 p.m. until close.

The city recommends avoiding Waterside Drive after 5 p.m. and asks people to take City Hall Avenue Exit 10 if coming from Interstate 264 West or the Brambleton Avenue Exit 11.

Select parking garages will offer early discounts. All garages offer cash or credit options. The collect-on-entry rates are listed below.   

Friday, Nov. 18

  • Plume Street Garage: noon to 7 p.m., $2 cash/credit on entry
  • All other garages: normal hourly rates

Saturday, Nov. 19

  • Downtown garages (Including Waterside) – 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.: $3 cash/credit on entry; 5 p.m. to close: $5 cash/credit on entry.
  • Waterside only: 6 p.m. to close, $10 cash/credit on entry
  • MacArthur Center Garages: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., $2 cash/credit on entry; 4 p.m. to close: $5 cash/credit on entry

Sunday, Nov. 20

  • Downtown garages (Including Waterside) – 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.: $5 cash/credit on entry; 3 p.m. to close: normal hourly rates
  • Waterside only – 6 p.m. to close: $10 cash/credit on entry
  • MacArthur Center garages: normal hourly rates

Hampton Roads Transit

HRT is offering a $4 roundtrip special event fare pass for the ferry or light rail. Buy them here.

On Saturday, due to the Grand Illumination Parade, Routes 6, 8, 45, and 960 will not be able to service the Waterside Loop from about 3 to 10 p.m.