NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Iroquois Steeplechase is Nashville's Grand Tradition, but as the event has grown, so has the traffic approaching Percy Warner Park on the day of the event.
Leave the racing to the horses and avoid a rush to park by getting to your spot early and planning ahead. Race organizers expect 25,000 spectators at this year's event.
And the way in is via Old Hickory Boulevard, which is just a two-lane road.
Organizers say police plan to shut down Old Hickory to traffic between gates 2 and 3, so you much approach from the correct side based on your entrance gate and parking location. Instructions were sent to attendees ahead of race day to help.
But as a reminder:
If you're assigned gates 3, 4, 5 or 7, you're coming in on Hwy 100 from the west. This route tends to be a little less busy.
Anyone assigned to gates 1,2 and 6 should approach from the east, using Interstate 65, Hillsboro Pike or Chickering Road to reach Old Hickory Boulevard.
Day-of tickets will be available. Anyone who plans to drive without a pre-paid spot should head to overflow parking on Vaughn Road, south of Old Hickory Boulevard. It is free and first-come, first-served.
Ride app zones are located in three areas: at the main entrance on Vaughn Road, south of Old Hickory Boulevard near overflow parking, and at gate 2.
Arriving long before the races begin will help you avoid the major slowdowns. Tailgating begins at 8:30 a.m. for most areas to help. Staff expect roads to be busiest in the hour leading up to opening ceremonies at noon.
The last race should finish around 5 p.m., with most attendees leaving by 5:30 p.m.
Be sure you have a sober ride home from Steeplechase if you plan to drink at the event.
And while you're there, look for your favorite NewsChannel 5 anchors and meteorologists, who will greet attendees and help with the event program throughout the day alongside Storm 5 Titan.