Crews make downtown ready for 4th Parade

Barricades, cones and pennants, oh my!

The City of Warren Department of Public Works has been busy moving, installing and, generally, preparing the city for the Fourth of July festivities that will take place both downtown and at Betts Park on Thursday.

Two crews of DPW employees were downtown on Wednesday installing posts and flag-themed pennant banners to protect the plantings on Pennsylvania Avenue between Hickory and Liberty streets.

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz said the cost of the planter protection was minimal, a few hundred dollars, but the department did have to paint all of the stakes. “(That was) probably the most labor intensive part,” he said.

Warren City Council, at a meeting last month, elected to erect wooden posts with patriotic pennants to serve as a cordon around downtown planters. Last year, the city utilized orange construction fencing to protect the plants and received complaints over its aesthetic appeal.

Holtz said that the plan is to keep the pennants for future years. “That’s always our goal,” he said. “Certainly a lot depends on how they survive, whether they get damaged in any ways. (It also) depends on how it is received by the public.”

But protecting the planters is just a small part of DPW’s preparation for Thursday’s celebration.

Holtz said that the department’s responsibilities are split between the parade route, the fireworks and the events at Betts Park.

In addition to the plantings, Holtz said that DPW also put out extra garbage cans along the parade route and set out the barricades that will block traffic. “We hang a lot of temporary signs for the detour” around the parade route, he added. Extra street sweeping happens, too. Holtz said that the parade route was swept at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

For the fireworks, Holtz said, “DPW’s role (is to) provide enough cones and barricades for the police to set out for the traffic to get in and out” of the Betts Park area.

Additional cones and barricades were provided at Betts Park for the events slated to take place there and the runway was also swept. Bleachers were also moved to Gen. Joseph Warren Park for viewing stands for the parade.