Folsom residents joined Sutter Street businesses and City of Folsom officials to celebrate the completion of the 16-month Historic Sutter Street Revitalization Project. The commemoration was held on Saturday May 7, 2011.
Thousands of Folsom residents and visitors enjoyed a ribbon-cutting ceremony that was followed by live entertainment. Live entertainment was provided by the Outlaws Dance Team, Sutter Street Theater, Cynthia’s Dance Studio, Crystal Image Band and the James Garner Johnny Cash Tribute Band.
The Eastern Ways Martial Arts Lion Dance Team was scheduled to provide the opening entertainment as well as a Wells Fargo Stagecoach Arrival ceremony but I missed these two events.
Folsom City Manager, Kerry Miller, welcomed those in attendance and gave thanks to many people who saw the project from beginning to end or who were involved in different ways.
Folsom Mayor, Andy Morin, came up to the podium to say a few words. At one point he said, “I’m in jeans today because I was prepared to go to work if we weren’t done yet. You folks are all very lucky because if we weren’t ready this was going to be one big work party. You all would have had hammers and paint brushes and we would have been finishing up the street.” As this day of celebration came closer I also had wondered if the Sutter Street Revitalization Project was going to be completed.
Andy Morin introduced a special guest saying, “A very special guest that’s here today, her name is Artie Davies. Artie Davies is 98 years old today. It is her birthday, May 7.” She has lived in Folsom for 90 years and served as Folsom City Clerk for 22 years.
Folsom Vice Mayor Ernie Sheldon, Kerri Howell and Steve Miklos, Folsom City Council members, also had some remarks for guests. Words of thanks again flowed from each of these Folsom officials as well as some humorous comments. This has been a long project that saw tenants come and go and businesses are now moving in. Businesses that have been on Sutter Street were well represented at the event and all are happy the project has been completed.
Steve Miklos started a rumor that Jim Snook was giving away free ice cream. The crowd cheered as they heard that. Later as I was inside Snooks visitors kept asking about the free ice cream even though the rumor had been dispelled.
California State Assemblyman Richard Pan and OJ Platt (representing Sacramento County Board of Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan) presented congratulatory plaques on the Revitalization Project. Candy Miller, Chair of the Historic District Commission and Jim Snook, President of the Folsom Historic District Association concluded the official remarks.
A ribbon cutting ceremony on Sutter Street followed and a photograph of the ceremony and all in attendance that could fit on a community photo posed for a historic picture. Shops on Sutter Street enjoyed visits from the many residents and visitors that came to celebrate the occasion.
Entertainment followed and informational booths were set up at every block that showcased many historic exhibits and displays. Included displays were available for the Founding of Folsom, Historic Totems were unveiled and the Folsom History Museum was open to the public. Rail history, the Murer House, Folsom Powerhouse, Sutter Street Secrets Exhibit, the Chan House (a proposed Chinese History Museum) and vintage vehicles were available for viewing.
The Revitalization Project was well attended and there was something for people of all ages. The Sutter Street project that has been going on for 15 to 16 months was finally completed much to the delight of businesses, shoppers and Folsom officials. Work is still going on around the parking garage, the Folsom Turntable and the Pioneer Village between Leidesdorff and Sutter Streets but businesses are no longer impacted.
Representatives from the Sutter Street Theatre passed out information and a schedule of future performances. Many neighbors came to enjoy the festivities that spanned along Historic Sutter Street.
Folsom’s Sutter Street gained a much needed facelift while preserving its historic background and character. The Revitalization Project will showcase Folsom’s history and continue to bring residents and visitors to the many quality shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels available on or near Sutter Street. Now it’s time to rediscover Historic Folsom.
By the numbers*:
• 600 plus horse, ox and donkey shoes unearthed
• 1873 year stamped on a half-dime discovered along with other artifacts
• 150 feet of underground tunnels
• 900 Parking spots on and adjacent to Sutter Street
• 104 shops, restaurants, art galleries and other unique Historic District businesses open in 2011
• 100 shade trees
• 22 Annual special events on Sutter Street
• 1 priceless completion of the Revitalization Project
* (Thanks to Folsom’s Historic Sutter Street, Celebrating a Unique History & a Significant Revitalization pamphlet for the first 7 bullet provided in their Historic Sutter Street by the Numbers.)