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Putting on the finishing touches

City to celebrate Streetscape with party
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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As the city’s $8.4-million, 14-month-long redevelopment of the Folsom Historic District nears completion, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate. And, that’s just what city officials are planning to do next month. The festivities, dubbed “Rediscover Historic Folsom,” are slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Shannon Cheyne, director for the Folsom Historic District, said construction has been a long process and merchants are excited. “We’re celebrating,” Cheyne said. “People (who come to the party) can expect to see the street complete and all the new facades done and all the new shops and businesses open. We’ve had a lot of new businesses opening in the last month and we’ll have more opening in the next few weeks.” She said the event would be family friendly. “We’ll have two stages of entertainment, one in the 600 block around Sutter Street Steakhouse,” she said. “It’s going to feature James Garner, a Johnny Cash Tribute Band. In front of Dorothea’s, we’ll have another stage where they will have the ribbon cutting.” After the ribbon cutting residents should be ready to grin for the camera. “Immediately after that, we’ll have a community photo, so we’re going to invite everyone out into the street for the photo,” Cheyne said. The event kicks off with a parade meant to bring luck to the street and the district. “We’re starting off … with a Chinese Lion Dance, with Eastern Ways Martial Arts in Folsom. That kick-starts the event with a Lion Dance parade down the street. In the Chinese culture, it means good luck and Folsom has a long history with the Chinese culture.” She said they are planning a variety of activities. “We also have the Wells Fargo Stagecoach coming and we’ll have some community groups performing and other musicians. Outlaws Country Dance team are coming and they’ll be teaching country line dancing,” she said. “There will be no vendors on the street. This will be a celebration of the businesses that are here.” Sutter Street will be closed from the 600 block all the way down the street to Reading in the 900 block. The closure includes the intersection at Riley Street. All the entertainment will be free. “Our businesses have really been anticipating this for a year now,” Cheyne said. “Although Historic Folsom has been open the entire time and we never closed, I think some people may have avoided the district, so those community members who didn’t come out for our events are welcome back.” Sue Ryan, the city’s public information officer, said history would also be a focus of the celebration. “We have 9-foot tall totems we’ll be unveiling that day and each one tells the story of Folsom’s history,” Ryan said. “We’ll eventually have five of them, but we’ll be unveiling four of them that day." A cowboy, miner or other pioneer figure might make appearances throughout the day. “We have different historical groups that will be doing re-enactments up and down the street that day to showcase our wonderful history,” Ryan said. For those curious about the history of the various buildings in the district, tidbits of their stories will be displayed. “Candy Miller and Cindy Baker came up with 60 different historical photographs of the different buildings along the street that will be placed in the windows of businesses,” Ryan said. “These will be poster-sized photos, showing what used to be there.” Also expect to find classic cars displayed by the Cappuccino Cruisers, construction equipment from Teichert and the Fire Department will roll out their antique fire truck. According to Ryan, Snook’s Chocolate Factory created special commemorative chocolate coins for the event and they’ll be passing those out free to the first 2,000 people who arrive. Merchants have reason to celebrate. “We’re looking forward to the end and the big party,” said Erik Loigom, with WineStyles on Sutter Street. Business co-owner Cricket Loigom agreed. “We’ve always said, ‘Keep the end in sight,’” she said. “We’re so grateful that it’s almost here.” Kathy Jesmont was getting her new store ready for the public. Called “It’s Just Your Style,” the store is located at 813 Sutter St. While she missed most of the construction as a business owner in the district, she said she’s still looking forward to the end. “It was good timing (to open now),” she said. “I’ve been down here numerous times with various people. I think it will be wonderful when it’s finished.”