PORTLAND — Several downtown street closures are planned Thursday and Friday for annual holiday events.

On Thursday, more than 1,500 runners are expected to take part in the Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler road race.

The following streets will be closed to vehicle traffic from 8:30-10 a.m.: Congress Street from High Street to Franklin Street, Franklin from Congress to Commercial Street, Exchange Street, Free Street, Federal Street Extension, and Temple Street from Congress to Middle Street.

Volunteers and police officers will help divert and direct traffic. The race benefits the USM Track & Field Program, Portland Trails, St. Patrick’s Academy, Jubilee Center and the Rafiki Foundation.

On Friday, Nov. 28, the Portland Downtown District is hosting the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Monument Square from 5:30-6:45 p.m.

For this event, Congress Street between Preble and Elm Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from 11 a.m -9 p.m. The closing for eastbound traffic will begin at Brown Street. Federal Street Extension will also be closed to vehicle traffic, but only from 4:45-7 p.m.

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