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Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade Route Altered Due to Streetscape Completion Delay

Despite being longer than last year's parade, officials say this year's is still shorter than usual.

Headed by Rotary Club of Castro Valley, the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade has made its way down the boulevard each May for 92 years. However, this year, parade officials worry over the delayed Castro Valley Streetscape Project completion date caused by wet weather.

Instead of being completed this month as expected, recent rains have pushed the construction completion date to September, as recently reported by the Castro Valley Forum.

Much of the May 12 parade is riding on the phase of construction to the boulevard's south side sidewalk.

"A big concern is where we're going to put the reviewing stand," said club president Bill Nott.

The stand, which holds the parade's announcer, judges of the floats and even a band, may likely be placed by the or , according to Nott. However, that may change if the sidewalk is not fully completed.

"It's been unclear as to how soon things will be done. We were told it'd be done sometime in April," Nott said. "We'll just have to play it by ear and see where it's going."

To see this year's parade route and schedule, click here. 

Janet Lemmons of said despite the parade not reaching her store, doors will be open for folks to shop or rope some dummies outside in the parking lot.

One way she's adapted to the loss of business due to construction was attending more shows to meet new customers. However, this has also proven to have its downfalls.

"I invite people over and they can't even get past the driveway. I've even took out a cone or two," Lemmons said laughing.

However, she said it's no laughing matter that many of her out-of-town regulars no longer want to come by the store because of the inconveniences, such as traffic, caused by the construction. To continue to stay in business, she is now making deliverier to some of her customers.

Lemmons said she hopes the merchants where the parade will pass can hopefully gain some much-needed business that day.

Jazzy Crafts owner Jasmine Clemmons is one of them.

She had , saying the lack of sales due to construction over the past few months threatened to shut her down for good. Presently, she said business is still struggling, despite the .

One of the biggest hurdles she is trying to overcome is parking. An open driveway from Wilbeam leading to an upgraded parking lot for her and neighboring businesses is no longer possible due to the .

She said customers have resorted to the entrance on Castro Valley Boulevard for the back parking lot.

"But even those orange nettings [surrounding that entrance] make it difficult for people to turn in," Clemmons said.

So she's turned to other means of staying afloat. Clemmons said she now uses the Hayward Area Recreation and Park Dristrict's activities brochure to promote arts and crafts camps that she offers over the summer.

To allow customers to avoid the construction on the boulevard and conveniently shop from home, she's considering making online shopping available on her website.

However, for her and all other businesses hit hardest by the construction, they all said they know the end result will be beautiful and worth the wait.

"That's assuming we're still here," Clemmons said.

Ken Martin April 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
So, if I read this correctly, if the construction hadn't been halted in November and December it would have been completed by now. They can't blame the weather for that because it was bright and clear in those months. It looks more like poor planning that's causing grief for the merchants.
David Ross April 13, 2012 at 02:21 PM
What I'm trying to understand is how fairly decent weather for most of the winter, a 1 (one!) month break in work equals a 6 (SIX!) month delay. Of course we all know that NO ONE WILL BE PUNISHED for this boondoggle. Yes, the infrastructure needed repair. We DON'T need the "streetscape" crap.
Bob Swanson May 06, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Hi Ken, Before the Holiday season Supervisor Miley, the Redevelopment Agency and Public Works held meetings with the merchants and the Chamber of Commerce . Merchants asked that work be suspended over the Holidays so that Holiday shopping would not be impeded by the road work. Therefore the road work was suspended over the Holiday to assist shoppers and to help the concerned merchants . Bob Swanson

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