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COLUMBIA - Preparation for Roots N Blues N BBQ began Wednesday as more than 700 volunteers will be helping with the festival this weekend, Sept. 9-10. The roof of the stage at Flat Branch Park went up Wednesday and workers will put up the Peace Park stage on Thursday.

There will be 30 different acts on three stages this weekend set up at Peace Park, Flat Branch Park, and 7th and Locust. The southwest corner of the district will be closed, including Elm and Locust between Ninth and Sixth streets. Also, Seventh and Eighth streets intersecting with Cherry will be closed this weekend.

However, every parking garage downtown will be open. "Parking during the festival in those garages is free so everyone park in the garages and walk on down to the festival," said the festival director, Jessica Brown. Parking meters on streets will be bagged on Friday, meaning no parking in those locations.

Tickets are still on sale. Tickets can be purchased at Walgreens and at Gerbes grocery stores. The Blue Note in Columbia is also selling tickets.

Tickets are $35 for a day pass or $60 for the entire weekend. Children under the age of 12 get in the entire weekend for free. "It's a great line-up we have this year. We are really proud of the artists that we're bringing into Columbia," said Richard King, co-owner of Thumper Entertainment. The BBQ section and judging will be near Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth streets between Broadway and Locust.