Folsom City officials and Historic District merchants are rolling out the welcome mat, Saturday May 7, for a festive community celebration marking completion of the 16-month, $11 million Historic Sutter Street Revitalization Project.

“This is an important day for Folsom as we culminate more than five years of collaboration and a lot of hard work,” says Mayor Andy Morin. “We’ve preserved Sutter Street’s historic character and charming ambience, while enhancing accessibility and amenities.”

The four-hour celebratory event kicks off at 10 a.m. with colorful Chinese Lion Dancers, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony. Attendees will gather in the 700 block of Sutter Street for a community photo immediately following the ribbon cutting.

Folsom HotelFour 9-foot-tall graphic totems depicting different aspects of Folsom’s history will be unveiled. Living History re-enactments and tours will be on-going. Historical photos and vintage cars will be displayed. The James Garner Johnny Cash tribute band will perform on one stage, with more live entertainment on a second stage.

Free shuttle service will be provided between 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. from the Walmart parking lot (behind Chevron on Glenn Drive). Attendees may also ride Light Rail to the Historic Folsom Station.

Riley Street from Natoma to Leidesdorff will be closed from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to ensure pedestrian safety for those attending the celebration. Drivers are encouraged to take alternate routes such as Folsom Lake Crossing and Lake Natoma Crossing.

The Historic Sutter Street Revitalization Project was a collaborative effort between Historic District merchants and residents, historic preservationists and City officials. The diverse groups reached consensus on a plan to honor the historic nature of the district while increasing its economic vitality.

“An exciting graphics component will highlight the Historic District’s fascinating history,” says City Manager Kerry Miller. “Large graphic totems will feature photos and short stories about the founding of Folsom, the Pony Express, the early days of Sutter Street, and development from the river to residential communities.”

The extensive Revitalization Project began in January 2010 and included the repair of aging water and sewer infrastructure; improved access for people with disabilities; removal of the center medians and creation of on-street parking; widened sidewalks to accommodate shoppers and outdoor dining; construction of new facades and canopies to replace old wooden shed roofs; and the installation of benches, bicycle racks and more than 100 shade trees.

The Revitalization Project was funded with Redevelopment funds received from property taxes generated within the Historic District.