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Lincoln Boulevard dedication festivities draw a few thousand

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Lincolnites and friends of Lincolnites welcomed the renaming of the town’s main street to Lincoln Boulevard Saturday with smiles, cameras, style and joy.

A few thousand people came to enjoy the Lincoln Boulevard Celebration festivities, which included a dedication, ribbon cutting, parade, music by Dudley and the Doo Rights, variety of vendor booths, children’s activities and car show.

Community Service Officer Paul Tyler estimated that 3,000 people took part in the celebration.

Mayor Spencer Short welcomed residents and visitors alike during the Lincoln Boulevard dedication ceremony to visit downtown Lincoln.

The opening of the Highway 65 Bypass Oct. 7 taking traffic off city streets paved the way for G Street/Highway 65 to become Lincoln Boulevard.

“This has been 40 years in coming,” Short said. “This is a fantastic day. I look forward to bringing folks downtown and residents making a right turn here (on Lincoln Boulevard) instead of going to the cities south of us.”

Short said Councilman Tom Cosgrove, who has been on the City Council 16 years, has been a bulldog in helping bring the bypass project to fruition.

“The bypass is open and allows our downtown to be returned to productive use,” Short said.

Cosgrove said the city’s downtown has been dormant since G Street became Highway 65 and the time has come for downtown “to awaken.”

“I enjoy seeing people converge on the heart of this community,” Cosgrove said.

Assemblywoman Beth Gaines presented Short with a certificate from the Assembly congratulating the city on the celebration of Lincoln Boulevard’s dedication.

The ribbon cutting took place at the intersection of First Street and Lincoln Boulevard. Lincoln Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Romness and Judy Bennett held the ribbon. Councilman Paul Joiner, Gaines, Short, Cosgrove, Placer County Transportation Planning Agency Executive Director Celia McAdam, Lincoln City Manager Jim Estep and Alyssa Cosgrove (Councilman Cosgrove’s granddaughter) participated.

“Don’t cut Alyssa’s hair,” McAdam teased Short.

After the ribbon was cut, Bennett wrapped the red ribbon around 3-year-old Alyssa.

Alyssa’s grandpa served as the grand marshal of the parade. Cosgrove rode in a 1915 Ford Model T.

McAdam and Short rode in a 1928 Chevrolet and 1930 Ford Roadster respectively along the parade route. Neighborhood Electric Vehicles carried Councilmen Joiner and Nader. Assemblywoman Gaines waved from a 1965 Ford Falcon.

The parade route started at First Street and proceeded to Sixth Street on Lincoln Boulevard, turned right on Sixth Street to E Street and then left on E Street to First Street.

A Good Day Sacramento van parked at the beginning of the route captured footage. Channel 13 reporter Ashley Williams said the television station came out to help the city celebrate.

“Lincoln is a tight knit community,” Williams said. “It’s still part of Sacramento. We couldn’t not come out and help celebrate.” 

The parade included the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, Lincoln High School band and cheerleaders, baton twirlers, boy scouts, an evolution of transportation that included a horse and buggy, tractors, cars, bicycles and motorcycles, classic cars from Rods & Relics and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, and United States Marine Corps jeeps.

“Semper Fi,” Merrill Schoneman yelled to the driver of the sheep.

Semper Fi,” the driver shouted back.

“From one jarhead to another,” said Schoneman, a new resident of Lincoln. “I served in the Korean War.”

NEV drivers honked to those standing and sitting along the parade route.

George and Ruth Alves recalled when they moved to Lincoln in 1981 the city had one stop light on the main street.

“Things have changed significantly,” George Alves said. “It’s nice to come downtown and not have to fight multiple cars and lights. I’ll probably still call it Highway 65. After 31 years, it’s tough to change. But Lincoln Boulevard will be easier to remember. It’s a good name. It represents what it is.”

His wife said she hopes the changes will reinvigorate the city.

“Lincoln will be a destination,” Ruth Alves said.

Her husband remarked on the day’s weather.

“This is great weather. If this event were next weekend we’d be wearing raincoats,” George Alves said.

Pointing to the baton twirlers from Nash Twirling Academy entertaining the crowds, Ruth Alves gushed, “Aren’t they just adorable.”

Twelve-year Lincoln resident Monty Burkholder asked his children to repeat after him “Welcome Lincoln Boulevard.”

Burkholder said he is looking forward to the timing of the traffic lights being changed.

The dogs in the pet parade enthralled children and adults alike. Fifty-plus people registered to walk their pets in the parade.

“I loved the standard poodle groomed to look like a Zebra,” Stacy Wursten said.

Sherri Swenson brought her son Luke, 9, and her grandchildren Deacon and Aisley Blankenfeld, 5 and 2, to watch the parade. Her granddaughter Kinlee, 6, twirled her baton in the parade.

Swenson said she loved the baton twirlers. When asked what his favorite part of the parade was her 5-year-old grandson Deacon Blankenfeld said, “The dogs.”

Her 9-year-old son agreed. He said he liked “the Zebra dog.”

The “Zebra dog” belongs to Attitudes owner Nicole Siddle’s sister Tammy Anderson. His name is Rowan. Rowan was joined in the pet parade by Anderson’s other dog Bricks, a Bijon who sported an orange and black coat, and Siddle’s poodle Hannah, whose hair was colored green and blue with the letters LHS on her side.

“I told the shop we had to have a Zebra mascot,” Siddle said.

Siddle said she and her customers love the change in the atmosphere downtown since the bypass opened.

“This is bringing so many people downtown,” Siddle said. “My clients love it. They can come down and hit the shops and enjoy themselves without traffic flying by.”