Expect traffic hassles around downtown Tempe for running events, Mill Avenue festival

Jan 13, 2024, 5:45 AM

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona runners cross a bridge over Tempe Town Lake...

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona running series is set for Jan. 13-14, 2024, with races starting and ending in Tempe, Arizona. (Facebook Photo/Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona)

(Facebook Photo/Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona)

PHOENIX — Anybody making their way around the downtown Tempe area this weekend should be on the lookout for a slew of travel restrictions for a series of running events and a street festival.

Two Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona races are set for Saturday morning, followed by two more on Sunday. The first 2nd Sundays on Mill outdoor market of 2024 also is happening this weekend.

The action begins Saturday at Tempe Beach Park with a 5K at 8 a.m., followed by the Kids Rock mile and half-mile runs at 9:30.

Sunday’s two races, a half-marathon and a 10K, are set to start at 7:15 a.m. at Mill Avenue and Third Street.

To accommodate the runners and related festivities, a long list of street closures will be implemented Saturday and Sunday. Some Valley Metro bus and rail routes will also be impacted throughout the weekend.

Why is running series called Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona?

True to its name, Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona features bands playing live during the races at various points across the 5K, 10K and half-marathon courses.

There also will be musical performances and a DJ at Tempe Beach Park on Sunday morning starting at 7:15 a.m.

The half-marathon course runs extends through Papago Park in east Phoenix and up Scottsdale Road into Old Town Scottsdale, resulting in traffic restrictions in those cities.

When does Tempe’s next 2nd Sundays on Mill outdoor market start?

As the running activities wrap up, Tempe’s 2nd Sundays on Mill event will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

Mill Avenue will be closed to vehicles between University Drive and Rio Salado Parkway from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., along with intersecting stretches of Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets.

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Expect traffic hassles around downtown Tempe for running events, Mill Avenue festival