Denver, CO -- Oct. 7 - 10, 2005

Rocky Mountain News
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Prepare for road closures, but police expect calm Columbus Day weekend

By News Staff
October 8, 2003

Columbus Day weekend activities will cause some road closures, but, police hope, little mayhem.

"Our hope is we have a peaceful event Friday night and Saturday," said Tracy Howard, Denver's deputy manager of safety.

On Friday, the Four Directions March will start in four parks, north, south, east and west of Cuernavaca Park. Marchers will stick to the sidewalks as they make their way to the park.

There will be no road closures for Friday's event, police said.

On Saturday, the Marade for Unity, which starts at 10 a.m., will begin at the Auraria campus and make its way along Speer Boulevard to West Colfax Avenue and then on to the Capitol.

There will be some temporary street closures to allow the gathering to cross streets, officials said.

The Columbus Day parade, starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, will shut down cross streets along Blake Street from 27th to 17th streets.

It will also close several intersections along Wynkoop Street.

The closures will start about 10 a.m. and continue until the parade has ended.

Although officials would not say how many officers will be patrolling the event, they said it would be a "significant number."

"This is kind of a cookie cutter of the last three events," said Police Chief Gerry Whitman.

Barricades are being trucked in from the New York Police Department.

Last year, renting barricades cost the city about $59,000, plus Denver spent about $51,000 on overtime, Whitman said.

The chief says he expects a peaceful weekend.

The number of arrests connected to Columbus Day events, he said, dropped from 127 in 2000 to seven in 2002.

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