By Gary Nelson

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — Come rain or shine this weekend, Miami Beach is expected to be packed for the long Memorial Day weekend.

pingo miami palm trees Traffic Nightmare Ahead For Miami Beach During Memorial Day Weekend

(Source: Thinkstock)

There are parties, free events, concerts and the city is hosting a military-themed Air and Sea Show for the second year in a row.

The National Salute To America’s Heroes will fly over Miami Beach despite the weather because event organizers say military personnel train in all kinds of weather. It takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. There is a free viewing area set up from 11 to 14 Streets along the beach.

Another rain or shine event will come Saturday night from 6 until 9 p.m., a concert on the sand featuring MAX, Kent Jones and Grammy winner, Shaggy.

If you are headed to the beach, pack your patience. Traffic and parking will be tough.

Ocean Drive is already closed to vehicles. It is pedestrian traffic only from 5th Street to 15th Street until 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Traffic on the Julia Tuttle and MacArthur causeways will funnel down to one lane Friday, Saturday and Sunday night so police can scan the license plates of everyone entering the city to keep out stolen vehicles and people with outstanding arrest warrants.

Traffic on the Venetian Causeway will not be restricted.

The Miami Beach Police Department has been using the license plate readers over Memorial Day weekend since 2012.

The city will also have an evening traffic loop from Saturday evening through Monday morning between Fifth and 16th streets with exits to access parking garages. Collins Avenue will become a one-way street heading north and Washington Avenue will become one-way heading south. Only residents with a photo ID will be able to access east and westbound streets between Fifth and 16th streets.

Watch: Miami Beach Police Department Public Information Officer Ernesto Rodriguez on police preparations:

 

The entire Miami Beach police force will be on patrol all weekend long along with officers from other police agencies including the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miami Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol.

“Goodwill ambassadors” wearing bright green shirts will also be walking around South Beach to give visitors directions and answer questions. Parents can register their kids as a safety measure at Lummus Park on Ocean Drive between 12th and 13th Streets on Saturday and Sunday. Miami Beach Police and Emergency Management will give kids a wristband ID that will contain their guardian’s name and contact information.

Unlike Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale has scrapped its Memorial Day Weekend Bash.

The Great American Beach Party was to have featured all kinds of fun kids activities, along with six concert stages for live performances including a concert by country star Lee Greenwood.  Fort Lauderdale canceled all of their planned events, citing concerns about wind, rain and lightning forecast for the weekend.

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