Update: Austin's second Formula 1 weekend has come and gone. Now comes the exodus of fans and visitors.
Original story: It’s Grand Prix weekend in Austin, and that means tens of thousands of visitors coming to Central Texas. It also means a free downtown festival focused on racing activities, vintage vehicles and live music.
Austin Fan Fest starts today and runs through midnight every day, except Sunday when it ends at 8 p.m.
Road closures for the festival began Wednesday and will continue through Sunday. Street closures stretch from Congress Avenue to San Antonio Street and between Second and Fifth Streets.
Unlike last year, Congress Avenue itself will not be shut down.
Paul Thornton with the Circuit of the Americas says they’re trying to address complaints from some downtown businesses last year that didn’t see any increase in profits.
“We’ve taken more of an approach to get a push out there to ticket buyers and people coming that Austin has more to see,” he says. “You need to check out South Congress. You should check out Sixth Street, some of our historic places.” Thornton says that includes highlighting local retailers on a map they distribute to ticket buyers.
Heading to the race? The Circuit of the Americas is expanding parking this year, and offering shuttle services from downtown pickup locations, as well as shuttles within the Circuit of the Americas complex. Information on parking and shuttle services can be found on the Circuit of the Americas website.