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Friday, October 22, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 44

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Power of Houston to cause street closures

By Ken Fountain
Daily Cougar Staff

Downtown Houston will be the setting for the largest fireworks and light show ever when the city of Houston and Reliant Energy combine for the final Power of Houston celebration Saturday.

The fireworks show, which will begin at 10:15 p.m., will involve 162 city blocks and will be visible from all sides of downtown.

The fireworks aren't the only hallmarks of the event, though. Those who have attended in the past may also remember heavy traffic and street closures in the downtown area.

City officials said they expect more than 200,000 people to watch the event from the official gated areas this year -- and that doesn't count thousands more who will watch from other areas or attend special events downtown.

Though UH's Robertson Stadium was open in 1997 and 1998 for those wishing to view the event, it will not be open this year, said Chris Pezman, assistant athletic director. But planners assure any location with a view of downtown will also have a view of the show.

Those planning to drive to the festival should keep in mind that the McKinney Avenue exit from Interstate 45 south will be closed from 7 p.m. today through 5 a.m. Monday, and the Allen Parkway exits from I-45 north and south will be closed from 7 p.m. today until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Motorists heading south on 45 should use the Milam Street exit for direct downtown access, and those coming from the south on 45 should use the Scott Street/Downtown exit.

Officials suggest using Metro shuttle buses, which will run from several Park & Ride lots, to get to the events. Buses will begin running between the lots and downtown at 2 p.m. Saturday; fare is $3 for adults, free for children 12 and under.

The Park & Ride lots will close at 8 p.m. or when they reach capacity. After the event, shuttles will take visitors back to the lots until 1 a.m.

Park & Ride locations are: 6600 Southwest Frwy., 9900 Southwest Frwy., 11415 Roark Road, 9111 Canniff, 11755 Sabo Road, 801 Bay Area Blvd., 7821 N. Shepherd and 12920 Kuykendahl.

Shuttles will pick up and drop off visitors at Allen Parkway and Taft Street (except from the North Shepherd and Kuykendahl lots, from which buses will run to Memorial Drive and Sabine Street). education," Sheridan said.
 

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