City hall, courthouse to close at noon in Pell City for Block Party
by DAVID ATCHISON
Large crowds are expected for Friday’s Block Party in downtown Pell City. City and county offices will close at noon for the festivities.
PELL CITY — City and county government offices will close early Friday for the 14th Annual Greater Pell City Chamber of Commerce Block Party.

Officials said city hall and the courthouse in Pell City will both close at noon Friday.

“We were originally going to close at 3,” Mayor Joe Funderburg said.

However, he said workers will set up large stages around the courthouse and city hall, making it difficult for the public to get into government facilities and city and county workers to leave work.

“The biggest problem is parking,” Funderburg said.

He said volunteers are setting up the CenturyLink Kids Block behind city hall in the Police Department parking lot.

“My thinking was we didn’t see it as feasible to stay open after noon (Friday),” Funderburg said.

He said it was more beneficial to the public and employees to just go ahead and close at noon.

Funderburg said this year’s Block Party could be bigger than ever.

“This will be the first time we will actually close off Cogswell Avenue to traffic,” he said. “We’re expecting more people and more traffic.”

He said residents coming to city hall to pay their water bills on Friday need to do so before noon.

The Block Party is expected to start with at pre-show at 5:30 p.m. at the Country Rock Stage in front of the old Rexall Drug Store on Cogswell Avenue. Other entertainers will begin their performances on stages scattered throughout the historic downtown district at 6 p.m.

Police Department Lt. Josh Herren said officers will begin closing the downtown roads at noon.

He said the areas closed include U.S. 78, between 19th and 20th streets.

“There will be no east-west travel on 78 from noon until midnight,” Herren said.

Officials said people should avoid the downtown area unless they plan to attend the Block Party, which will feature 121 vendors with food and merchandise, a variety of live music performers, and many activities for children.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2013