Crews prep downtown for today's parade honoring Gamecocks

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Crews sprucing up Main Street to make sure things go off without a hitch during Friday's big parade to honor the Gamecocks.

From cutting down dead trees to laying barricades aside, City of Columbia workers are busy getting Main Street ready for a big crowd. "I think Columbia is a great place, and I think appearance its what its all about," said Robert Anderson.

The city wants its best foot forward. While few soles walk the pavement on Thursday, thousands of others will tread the ground on Friday. Public Works employees spent much of the day putting finishing touches on the look of the city's downtown area.

If you can't see the parade from Main Street, you can watch it from home on starting at noon.

"When people come in and something is clean or something is spruced up, it gives them a warm feeling of what to expect in the downtown area," said Anderson. "And I think this is part of growing the downtown area."

67 barricades will be set up, blocking access to Main Street for the parade. Parking meters will be bagged Thursday night, and cars left along the parade route will be towed Friday morning.
The parade for Champions begins Friday at Noon. It will travel down Main Street from Laurel to Gervais, and end on the State House grounds with a ceremony.
This is a familiar task for city officials, who planned a parade last year in just one day. "We were a little more prepared to act this year," said Anderson. "We know what we needed to do so it was just easier for us to put a plan together."

Much of that plan is in place. Miss South Carolina 2007, Crystal Garrett, will sing the national anthem. Although Hootie and the Blowfish were invited, they cannot be here for the parade.

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