Sneak peek at Roseville’s town square

Grand opening celebration takes place Saturday, Aug. 24
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Town square grand opening

What: Daytime festival includes ribbon cutting ceremony, bounce houses, art activities, food trucks and live entertainment. Evening concert features Journey tribute band, Journey Unauthorized.

When: Daytime festival 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and venue and beer gardens open for concert at 6:30 p.m. Concert ends at 9:30 p.m.

Cost: Free, open to all ages.



 The new town square, a central piece in the city of Roseville’s efforts to kickstart revitalization downtown, has been completed after a year of construction.

“It’s really rewarding to get to this point,” said Program Manager Bill Aiken.

This public gathering space on Vernon and Grant streets will officially be unveiled with a grand opening celebration Saturday, Aug. 24, and with the launch of several ongoing programs and special events designed to attract people back to the original heart and soul of Roseville.

Those events include the Wednesday Wine Down, a wine tasting from 5-7 p.m. weekly through Oct. 2, and Friday Flicks, a monthly movie night starting Sept. 20 with “The Blind Side” and running until Dec. 6 with “Elf.” Movies will be shown on a 30-foot screen and each one begins at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a farmer’s market from 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 2.

The town square — as yet unnamed — is the latest and most visible project in the city’s redevelopment plans. Since the implementation of Roseville’s revitalization strategy in 1999, the city has been working to return downtown and Old Town into a civic core.

In August 2011, the Roseville City Council approved 13 projects in downtown for nearly $40 million, including the nearly one-acre town square, which cost $4.5 million to build.

Construction began in August 2012 with the demolition of a parking lot and small city-owned office building outside Civic Center. Now, the space features a walking garden and lawn near a 1,000-square-foot stage — the square’s focal point — with plenty of power capacity for live bands and a canopy overhead.

The first band to grace the stage will be Dudley and the Doo Rights for the grand opening. Comedians from Blacktop Comedy will also perform that day. On Sept. 21, the Beatles tribute band Because will perform, and musician Maxx Cabello Jr. will entertain audiences with his bluesy-jazz sound on Oct. 19.

Throughout the square, more than 1,300 plants and 60 trees, mostly maple and elm, have been planted. In November, a special tree will join the space: a Christmas tree. The city will sponsor a weeklong holiday celebration this year, with a parade on Vernon Street on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The city will host the Thanksgiving Day “Turkey Trot” beginning in the town square and going throughout downtown. Yoga, yang tai chi and boot camp will be offered on an ongoing basis through October.

The Mother Goose on the Loose literacy program for children will be moved from the library to the town square during the warmer summer months.

Recreation Manager Kathy Barsotti said the goal is to schedule the town square with a diversity of events that will bring in people of different age groups and interests.

“We want to have this to become a destination and a place where people want to hang out,” Barsotti said.

Along Grant Street is what city officials are calling “vendor ally,” which will accommodate 10-by-10 pop-up tents for the farmer’s market and other special events.

The town square features an interactive water spray ground with nine in-ground jets and 36 lights. The spray ground will go on daily. The water drains and recirculates. There is also a fire pit that will be active during cooler months — it can only be turned on manually by city staff.

Chris Robles, the city’s economic development director, said the town square will serve as Roseville’s “living room” and provide a unique space not found elsewhere in the city.

Meanwhile, other changes continue, including the opening of Roseville Cyclery on Vernon Street. Earlier this year, the City Council hired a master developer to provide additional financing and development opportunities for public and private projects downtown.

The nonprofit, private Roseville Community Development Corporation — of which Robles is CEO — is hammering out a contract for a new brew pub on Vernon Street. Next door, a clothing shop will open.

“It’s exciting because the comments coming from merchants (are) different than (they’ve) ever been,” Robles said. “They see the vision and they want to be a part of that.”

To lay the groundwork for downtown redevelopment, the city recently completed sewer, water and underground utilities upgrades. New sidewalks, curbs and gutters were installed, and portions of Grant, Oak, Taylor and Vernon streets were repaved. Decorative street lights were also installed.