Parking meters are free tomorrow (thanks, Veterans Day!), but not overnight

Tomorrow is a city holiday, which means legions of city employees won't have to show up to work (with the exception of police and fire folks, Denver Health doctors, airport workers and the animals at the Denver Zoo; what's a giraffe have to do to get a day off around here?). There's a bonus for the rest of us too: parking meters will be free tomorrow. But only until 11:59 p.m.

So what's that mean for people who will be out on the town tomorrow night, TGIF-ing? Especially those who, come midnight, are too blotto to drive home? For one, it means they better pay up.

As explained in our recent feature, "Feed Me," the city began allowing overnight parking downtown earlier this year. The program has its upsides and its downsides. One upside is that whereas parking was previously prohibited between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., it's now allowed 24 hours. The downside, however, is that the rules, when coupled with confusing signage, can be downright frustrating.

Holidays have the potential to add more confusion to the mix. So we called Denver Public Works spokeswoman Christine Downs to get the inside scoop. According to her, LoDo's Smart Meters (the fancy kind that accept credit cards) will refuse to take your cards all day tomorrow. But at the stroke of midnight, the meters will turn back on. (It's magic! Or is it robots?) If you don't feed your meter, it will begin blinking red -- a surefire way to attract the attention of a roving parking enforcement agent.

So take heed, revelers. Nothing ruins a spectacular night of face-melting karaoke like a parking ticket. Trust me.

More from our Follow That Story archives: "Colorado Firefighter Calendar: DA investigates as founder Kirsten Hamling resigns (PHOTOS)."

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