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Yes, the Riverwalk will remain (mostly) open for this weekend's Widespread Panic concerts

Riverwalk Closure Sign
Bethanie Simms
A Riverwalk closure sign west of Nutt Street sparked concerns reported to WHQR on Friday morning.

Signs left over from construction led some to worry the waterfront walkway would be closed ahead of the Riverfront Park's inaugural concert; city officials say it will remain open.

Friday morning WHQR received concerns from downtown residents, including some from Sawmill Point Apartments, about potential closures on the Riverwalk. Tonight begins the summer series of concerts managed by Live Nation, starting with three consecutive shows by Widespread Panic, which is expected to bring over 20,000 people downtown.

Similar concerns also may have come from temporary street closures while Live Nation loaded in equipment, chairs, and portapotties ahead of the opening night.

City officials confirmed that the sign was used during the construction of the amphitheater and will be removed from the Riverwalk — which will remain open.

"The Riverwalk will remain open during the concert, but people will not be allowed to congregate or block any egress or ingress points," according to a press release from city Communications Office Media Manager Jennifer Dandron in an email Friday afternoon. The Wilmington Police Department is expected to patrol the area to prevent bottlenecks that could threaten public safety.

According to the city, Cowan Street will be closed — except for residential traffic — as will Hartnett Street — except for business and residential traffic. Concertgoers should take the Nutt Street entrance to the park, located near Pier 33 and Marina Grill.

The Riverwalk is one of the city's most popular public spaces, and it also added value to riverfront apartment complexes; many residents chose the area for its walkability and easy access to local eateries and bars.

For additional information on the rules of the park see Live Oak Bank Pavilion @ Riverfront Park website.

Bethanie is a freelance writer for WHQR. She was the 2021-2022 UNCW News Fellow during the pursuit of her M.A. in English. She holds a B.A. in Political Studies with a focus on Constitutional Law. Originally from California and Colorado, she is a Marine Corps Military Police Reserve officer and an Afghanistan War Veteran. Her civilian professional background includes corporate finance and legal litigation.