I’ll be writing more about this weekend’s activities in Laguna Beach, but just wanted to warn Laguna Beach residents and visitors alike that our annual traffic snarl arrives early tomorrow morning, Saturday, March 5th.

In Laguna Beach, the 45th Annual Patriot’s Day parade starts at 11 a.m., which means traffic begins to be diverted as early as 9:30 a.m., and congestion of parade attendees alone will cause headaches for anyone just trying to pass through town.

The parade starts by Laguna Beach High School and winds through all the business streets of downtown, meaning that PCH comes to a complete and long stop, and the downtown streets are virtually impassable. Good thing it’s an interesting parade, because if you’re stuck in the middle of it, you’ll at least have something enjoyable to watch.

What makes the Laguna Beach traffic that much worse this Saturday, however, is that neighboring Dana Point chooses to do its 40th Annual Festival of Whales Parade on the very same day, just one hour in advance of our Patriot’s Day Parade. Kicking off their week of Whale Festival activities, Dana closes PCH between Selva and Golden Lantern for its own floats, cars, bands and other sundry reserved for annual parades.

Meanwhile, all their vendors for the festival will be setting up and drawing in crowds of people at the harbor (main route down is Golden Lantern).

Bottom line: If you’re coming to see a parade or take part in the Whale Festival in Dana Point, great – park your car, prepare to walk, and don’t go back to your car for several hours.

If you’ve decided to just meander down this way for breakfast somewhere, I’d suggest choosing another weekend morning. Basically, the whole of PCH, from Newport Coast on the north to the 5 Freeway intersection on the far south in Dana Point is going to be one crowded, jumbled, traffic-coned affair on Saturday, between 7 a.m. and about 2:00 p.m.

Of course, there are plenty of exciting events going on in Laguna Beach this weekend – I’ll be writing to that shortly – so if you do find yourself here, I’ll prep you with a number of things to do, all within walking distance of downtown Laguna Beach!

© 2011, Diane Armitage, LagunaBeachBest.com
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