Annapolis shoppers will notice red bags covering the parking meters downtown starting on Thursday—which grant them two hours of free parking.
“In keeping with an Annapolis holiday tradition, I am pleased to announce that we will again be offering two hours of free parking at metered spaces in the city,” Mayor Josh Cohen said in a press release. “The holidays offer a great opportunity to rediscover Annapolis’ many unique shops, restaurants and pubs, and to reconnect with our fellow neighbors.”
The bags will stay up and the meters will stay free from Thanksgiving to Jan. 1.
The tradition dates back to late Mayor Alfred Hopkins, who started the free holiday parking in the 1990s. The idea is that it helps downtown merchants compete with stores at the Annapolis Mall and the Towne Shopping Centre at Parole—which do not charge for parking.
Annapolis will offer free parking at all two-hour metered spots on Main Street, Francis Street, West Street, Maryland Avenue, Prince George Street, City Dock, Market Space and the Donner lot, which is adjacent to the former Fawcett's building on Compromise Street.
The 30-minute meters at the base of Main Street will also be free, but only for 30 minutes.
Parking enforcement will still issue tickets to vehicles parked longer than their allotted free time.