HARTFORD, CT – Hartford Parking Authority (HPA) will join with the Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) to gear up for the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championships. From July 15 through August 16, HPA will offer the incentive of up to two hours of complimentary parking to educate city residents and visitors about how easy it is to park at the Pay-and-Display meters on Hartford streets and to encourage attendance at the four-day national championships to be held from August 15-18, 2013 at the XL Center in Downtown Hartford. On-street parking in Hartford is free on weeknights after 6pm and on weekends.   During this five-week period, HPA’s Parking Ambassadors will randomly offer parkers a complimentary stay at meters as a hospitality gesture. While engaging with parkers, the Parking Ambassadors will demonstrate how to pay at the meter and identify signage that ensures appropriate parking. They will also distribute a “Park Easy in Hartford” tips card that includes a $5 ticket discount for the P&G Gymnastics Championships at the XL Center. The Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau is the sponsor of this special HPA’s “Park On Us” program. HPA is seeking additional sponsors to continue the program on a monthly basis.   HPA’s Parking Ambassadors will utilize the Downtown Hartford Park-Shop-Dine Gift Card to “pay” the meter. Business for Downtown Hartford (BFDH) sponsors the Park-Shop-Dine Gift Card, which is accepted for payment at Hartford Pay-and-Display meters and more than 50 City merchants. Parking in Hartford is free on Saturday and Sundays.   “It’s great that the Hartford Parking Authority decided to implement their Park On Us Program to support the 2013 P&G Gymnastics Championship,” stated Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “There’s a myth that parking is difficult in Downtown and the more we can do to educate visitors, the more they will enjoy all Hartford has to offer.”   “Increasing public awareness and knowledge about on-street parking is a key responsibility assigned to our Parking Ambassadors,” said Hartford Parking Authority Acting Executive Director and CEO Carey Redd. “We launched the Park On Us program as an engaging new way to deliver our message.”   Convenient parking is considered essential to Hartford's economic and community development. HPA’s Parking Ambassadors are visible on Hartford streets from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to assist parkers with making change for the Pay-and-Display Stations, provide directions, answer questions, and more. Parking Ambassadors also enforce metered and regulated parking. This helps downtown businesses by creating more curbside availability for short-term visitors and deliveries during weekdays. Longer-term parkers (those who want to park for longer than two hours) are invited to park at HPA garages, which will open up more spaces on the streets. When legally parked, on-street parking in Hartford is free after 6:00 p.m. weeknights and on weekends (Please be sure to take note of any limitations noted by signage in close proximity to the selected on-street space).   About the Hartford Parking Authority The Hartford Parking Authority (HPA) oversees metered and regulated parking spaces on Hartford streets, as well as operates and maintains the City-owned parking facilities. These include the Church Street Garage, MAT Garage, and Hartford Public Library parking deck. For more information, contact the Hartford Parking Authority at 860.527.7275 or visit www.hartfordparking.com. About the P&G Gymnastics Championships The P&G Gymnastics Championships, USA Gymnastics’ premier annual event, will take place at the XL Center on August 15-18, 2013. The four-day event will showcase the country’s top male and female gymnasts vying for the coveted title of U.S. champion. Performances determine the make-up of the U.S. National Team and may be a factor in selecting the U.S. Team for international events, including the World Championships. For more information, visit www.usagym.org. For event tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com or call 800.745.3000.