By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) – A Taste of Colorado has shut down quite a few roads near Civic Center Park in downtown Denver including both directions of Colfax Avenue, Broadway, Sherman Street as well as Bannock Street, 14th Avenue, 15th Avenue and 16th Street.

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The festival opens to the public at 11 a.m. and closures will remain in place until 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Commuters trying to get through the area are frustrated with the traffic.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s making it a headache for me,” said Ruben Quintana. “Now I’m looking at an hour drive versus 20 minutes.”

Some 500,000 people are expected to make their way into downtown Denver for the Taste of Colorado.

A Taste of Colorado

Not only do we have A Taste of Colorado, but also the Rocky Mountain Showdown Friday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, as well as home games for the Colorado Rockies each day as well.

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Diane and Manny Lopez dodged storms in Florida, but unexpected traffic downtown has put a damper on their plans.

“The traffic cancelled all our tours,’ said Diane Lopez. “We had a tour to Pike’s Peak that’s cancelled, and a city tour that was cancelled, so now we’re walking.”

While there’s no doubt getting around town will be an issue, the Taste of Colorado organizers say the event is worth it in the end.

“It’s worth it if you have to take 15 extra minutes to get here, just plan ahead,” said Brea Olson with the Downtown Denver Partnership.

You can visit rtd-denver.com to look at some public transportation options.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

There are quite a few parking garages downtown as well. You can even reserve and pay for a parking spot in some of these garages online before you even head downtown.

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Joel Hillan is CBS4’s Traffic Specialist and is featured on the CBS4 Morning News. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.