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Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH-- Charlie Wilson performs during the 2015 ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. on Friday, July 3, 2015.

Drivers should be patient as the 2016 Essence Festival, which is expected to draw 400,000 attendees, causes heavy traffic in the French Quarter and Central Business District this weekend, city officials said Thursday.

The music festival’s events will run from Friday to Sunday in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Woldenberg Park. The New Orleans Police Department will direct traffic near the Superdome each night beginning at 5 p.m. and may close streets depending on traffic flows.

Officials at all venues will be inspecting large bags and backpacks for security purposes.

Parking enforcement personnel will monitor for illegal parking. That includes drivers who block hydrants, driveways and sidewalks, or park within 20 feet of a crosswalk, intersection or stop signs. Drivers also should park in the direction of travel on one-way streets and with the right wheel to the curb on two-way streets.

Service for New Orleans Regional Transit Authority streetcars and buses may be interrupted. Details on any route changes may be found at

Follow Jessica Williams on Twitter, @jwilliamsNOLA​