Hwy. 12 corridor, new bridge pre-opening features large celebration Saturday
By Ryan Gueningsman
After more than half a year of road construction, detours, and a slowdown in business for some local establishments the end is near.
Delano city officials are planning a large grand reopening ceremony that is set to take place in conjunction with the opening of the newly-constructed Highway 12 bridge in Delano that spans the Crow River, as well as the corridor throughout town.
The celebration is set for Saturday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. just west of the new bridge in front of the Country Mall (Chun Mee and El Cazador area).
The fun begins with a 5K run, sponsored by the Delano Lions, at 9:30 a.m. Contact Dan Stolfa at (612) 919-1679 or email@example.com for registration or more details. A link to an online registration can also be found at www.delanochamber.com.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, the food stands open, and music also begins with Chopper, the World’s Nuttiest DJ. Also at this time, face painting, balloons, and a clown will all be available.
A bounce house for children, sponsored by Delano True Value, will also be there, as well as the Chevrolet Street Team, sponsored by Star West Chevrolet-Honda.
At 10:45 a.m., a children’s half-mile run is set to take place, also sponsored by the Delano Lions.
A ribbon cutting ceremony follows at 11 a.m., complete with the first crossings of the newly-constructed bridge, and remarks from local officials plus a keynote address from Minnesota Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Khani Sahebjam, PE.
Pastor Terri Harris of Love INC will deliver a blessing of the new bridge, and plans are in the works for a possible fly-over air show to take place around noon.
A drawing will also take place at the celebration, where the task force, in conjunction with the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce, will be giving away a total of $500 in Delano Dollars. This is a drawing that will take place at 2 p.m., and participants must be present to win.
Just what is Randy’s going to do with that first trip across the new bridge?
“Everyone at Randy’s Environmental Services was excited to hear that our bid turned out to be the highest bid in the K-bid online auction,” commented Deb Gatz of Randy’s. “As the winner, we will be the first person or business to cross the new bridge. Randy and Sandy intended from the beginning to find a way to include all of Delano’s businesses and residents in our first trip across the bridge.”
Randy’s Environmental Services will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year, and said the City of Delano has been an important part of that 30 years.
To accommodate the goal of including as many people as possible, Randy’s will be constructing a large float or hay wagon of sorts.
“We will invite anyone who wants to be the first across the bridge to climb on with us,” Gatz said. The float will be parked in the Delano Subway cul-de-sac area.
To sit on the float with Randy’s, be at this location by 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. to load.
“We’re hoping we’ll have enough room for everyone who wants to participate,” she said. “It will be especially fun for the kids. The float will have the names of all of the Delano area businesses on the sides. It’s a work in progress, so it will be fun to see what we come up with.”