VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The countdown to Something In The Water is on, and while it’s expected to be a fun time at the Oceanfront, along with it comes many logistical challenges.
It takes a puzzle to put together how tens of thousands of extra people will move around the Oceanfront. During Thursday’s citywide SITW meeting, we got a look at some of how that will happen come the last weekend in April.
“We want everyone to enjoy themselves and we want this event to be successful,” said Sgt. Nicole Kosmas of the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Kosmas oversees the city’s special event task force. Kosmas helped create the traffic plan for this year’s festival.
“Dialing back a lot of the lane closures, a lot of the road detours and opening up the Oceanfront,” Kosmas said.
Unlike 2019, this year, only Rudee Loop to 13th Street and 13th Street to 17th Street on Atlantic Avenue will shut down.
Traffic will flow normally north of 17th and Atlantic with park-and-ride shuttles from the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater to 12th Street.
Two hundred to 300 police officers are expected to work the festival mitigating traffic while keeping folks safe. Kosmas said every Virginia Beach Police officer will work festival weekend. Everyone will have a 12-hour shift.
City leaders encourage folks to download the Waze app for real-time traffic updates and the VBGo app for real-time parking info. People can also text SITW to 67283 for RAVE alerts.
“Offering as many opportunities as possible to connect with people about immediate updates that are resident impacts,” said Jessica Gilera, Virginia Beach deputy director of marketing and communications.
Also new this year, a number of events leading up to the festival showcasing the Resort City’s small businesses. Events like Lead the Wave on April 14 at Mount Trashmore, featuring more than 60 local vendors and a Something On The Menu restaurant week down at the Oceanfront during the week of the festival.
“This year everyone feels like we’re in it together,” said SITW representative Robby Wells, “and great things are happening from it.”
If you weren’t able to make Thursday’s meeting and have questions, email SITW@VBgov.com. You can also go to VirginiaBeach.gov/Eventinfo.