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Life Is Beautiful but traffic will be awful as festival preparations begin

Preparations continue Wednesday, September 13, 2017, for the Life Is Beautiful Festival in downtown Las Vegas. (KSNV)

Life Is Beautiful takes over downtown Las Vegas next weekend.

It's the fifth year for the music festival that makes life difficult for people who live or work anywhere near the area. Traffic detours have already started.

Even if you don't plan to attend, you'll need to pay attention if you're driving or doing business in downtown.

Inside Smooth Eats on 6th and Carson, the healthy creations of Chad McKinney have become a neighborhood favorite.

Open just two months, his real test comes Sept. 22 when the festival sets up right in front of his business.

“I think it's going to be really good for our business,” he said.

“I was a little worried about it because Carson and 6th would be closed, but then again you have 200,000-plus people walking around. So it's actually very exciting, and this is the gate.”

The three-day music, food and art festival shuts down 18 city blocks. Some of the signs are being put in place, such as fencing and portable toilets. New murals, a festival standard, are already complete.

Marketing Manager Thomas Fiss said the festival, which sold out in 90 minutes, could pump $48 million into the local economy.

Esther Reincke, the special events administrator for the City of Las Vegas, says Life Is Beautiful kicks off a busy fall season.

“We have Bike Fest following right on the heels of that,” she said. “We have Rock-n-Roll marathon in November, and I think it's really brought people down.”

Along with the closures, keep in mind downtown has a few new one-way streets, including parts of Main and Commerce. Also, there are traffic issues along both freeways courtesy Project Neon.

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