DOVER, Del. - If you plan on traveling through Dover this weekend, pack your patience. The second annual Firefly Music Festival kicks off Friday and lasts thru Sunday.
As tens of thousands of people came in for the weekend, traffic on US 13 and DE 1 was extremely heavy throughout Friday.
"This is a big event on a scale the size of a NASCAR race," said DelDOT spokesman Jim Westhoff. "DelDOT, police agencies and event organizers have been talking with the state's media about likely attendance and traffic for weeks preceding the festival, so traffic delays associated with the event – while unpleasant - should have been anticipated by most motorists."
Some people who came down from Wilmington Friday morning said it took five hours to make the normally 50-minute trip.
The backup on DE 1 southbound went from Dover to Middletown at some points. US 13, also southbound, was like a parking lot all the way from Smyrna to Dover.
Alfred Byrd decided to walk to Dover from Cheswold.
"I just decided to walk instead of drive up here. It's about an hour walk," said Byrd. Elizabeth Moon and her family live near Dover Air Force Base. She admits she didn't know about this weekend's festival and the traffic surprised her.
"We thought it was like hurricane evacuation. We're like, 'What the heck is going on?' said Moon.
Moon and her family parked at Dover Mall to walk over to Best Buy.
Some like Debbie Oldham of Kenton says drivers should leave their homes early if they have plans on getting downtown.
"I thought it was a little horrendous because of the traffic stopped and the people all over the road, out of their cars, walking around," said Oldham.
Some festival-goers decided to ditch their drivers and walk the distance. There are also some impatient drivers on Route 13 trying to cut across three lanes of traffic from an opposite direction. Dover police officers guided the driver to keep everyone safe.
Papa Johns manager John Wallace says a worker for the event told him scores of tickets were sold.
These kinds of issues don't tend to happen on NASCAR race weekends. Officials with Dover International say the difference is fans trickle in for NASCAR over the course of a week. Firefly attendees showed up, basically, all at once.
As people head to Firefly, there are live traffic updates on 1380 AM, WMTC. And there will be updates at www.deldot.gov.
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