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Useful information for 2012 Water Follies

If you are heading down to the Columbia River for the Water Follies this weekend, here's what you need to know:

Weather

Expect sunny skies today and Sunday and highs of about 90 degrees. A breeze of about 9 mph is expected today.

Tickets

Weekender tickets covering today and Sunday may be purchased at the gate or at Tri-City Albertsons. Adults $25, children 6-12 $10, and children under 5 free.

* General admission tickets for just today are sold at the gate. Adults $15, children 6-12 $5 and children under 5 free.

* Sunday general admission tickets are sold at the gate. Adults $25, children 6-12 $5 and children under 5 free.

* Bleacher tickets are sold at the entrance to the bleachers in Columbia Park and do not include admission. Cost is $5 for adults and children 6 and older.

* Pit passes cost $10 for today or Sunday.

Parking

Parking fees are charged each time cars enter or re-enter lots.

* Columbia Park or Pasco parking costs $5 today and $10 Sunday. Look for parking signs off Sylvester Street for Pasco parking.

* Use the main Highway 240 entrance for handicap parking at Columbia Park. Golf cart shuttles from the parking lot to the viewing area are available.

* Pedestrians can be picked up at a designated pick-up/drop-off point near the Playground of Dreams. There is no charge to enter the area.

* The J&S Dreamland Express, owned and operated by the Kiwanis Club of the Horse Heaven Hills, will provide transportation between parking areas and the river throughout the weekend. Today, it will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, it will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no cost, though donations are welcome.

The train, which operates weekends in Columbia Park, is named in honor of Washington State Patrol Trooper James Saunders, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in Pasco in 1999.

Bus service

Ben Franklin Transit will offer hourly service from 9 a.m. to noon today and Sunday from the Knight Street. Transit Center in Richland and the Huntington Transit Center in Kennewick.

Buses will leave the park both days at noon, 1 and 2 p.m., reaching the Richland transit center 15 minutes later and the Kennewick center 30 minutes later. They return to the park 45 minutes later.

Buses will begin leaving the park 15 minutes after the final event.

Fares are $1.50 each way. Seniors can ride for 75 cents and children 5 and under ride for free. A $4 ticket for families of up to five people also is available. Freedom Passes will be accepted.

Traffic/park access

The main entrance to Columbia Park on westbound Highway 240 will be closed 4 to 6 p.m. today and Sunday.

Columbia Park from Edison Street east to Fruitland Street will be closed to general use through 10 a.m. Monday. That includes bike paths. The park also will be closed from Edison Street west to the Kiwanis Building this evening and Sunday evening.

Wade Park in Pasco will be closed to general use for the weekend starting at 6 a.m. today.

No pets may be brought into areas on either side of the river used for Water Follies.

Extra Washington State Patrol troopers will be assigned to the Tri-Cities through Sunday in aircraft, motorcycles and unmarked patrol cars. They'll be looking for speeders, drunken drivers, aggressive drivers and people not wearing seat belts.

Cars that stop on the shoulders of Highway 240 to watch the races or air shows will be ticketed.

Schedule

Today the all-day action on the river starts at 8:15 a.m. and Sunday it starts at 8 a.m.

The air show will be 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. both days.

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