As the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau prepares for the 13th Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix, a new traffic plan will be introduced to move race teams and fans into Washington Park more efficiently, as well as assist first responders in moving in an out of the park as needed. Executive Director Jack Arnett sited continued growth as the main reason for the new plan.
“The success and growth of this event over the last 12 years has been incredible,” he said. “Because of that growth, we saw the need for adjustments to the way we operate. We have been working non-stop with the City of Michigan City to streamline our processes and create a better experience for our OPA (Offshore Powerboat Association) partners and the fans who make this event a reality.”
Once vehicles cross the Franklin St. bridge, vehicles will be directed to one of three gates. Gate 1, which normally serves as the main gate into the Washington Park parking area, will be limited to OPA boat/racer traffic, Michigan City Marina parking stickers, service vehicles, VIP parking passes, ADA parking (until full) and emergency vehicles. A valid Great Lakes Grand Prix parking pass will be issued to those vehicles utilizing Gate 1. Gate 2, which is located across from the Washington Park Zoo, will be limited to Michigan City parking stickers, vendor parking passes, service vehicles, ADA parking (until full) and Event Command parking passes. Gate 3, which is located at the entrance to the Guy Foreman Amphitheatre, will be for paid parking. All parking is limited. Free offsite parking is available at Ames Field, 2501 Franklin St., and the former St. Anthony’s Hospital parking lot at 1501 Wabash St. with free shuttle service to and from Washington Park.
“We understand that change can always cause confusion, but we have produced extensive directional signage and will work closely with the Michigan City Police Department to make this process as seamless as possible,” said Arnett. “It is going to be another great event, and we are so excited to make it happen.”
The new traffic plan will go into effect Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, and parking Gates will open at 6:00 am each day, and as always, Washington Park will close at 10:00 pm.