By Velena Jones

FOLSOM (CBS13) — A big outdoor weekend event in Folsom is aiming to support small businesses hurting during the pandemic.

Typically, on a Friday night you would see cars driving down Sutter Street in the city’s historic district. Now, drivers are being met with barricades meant to stop traffic to open new possibilities for businesses.

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“It’s good to get that interaction with people and support local businesses,” said Folsom resident Jeff Hatfield.

Orange barricades and road closure signs are taking over three blocks of the street to make room for increased outdoor dining and shopping in the streets.

“We are glad to see it open, we couldn’t be happier to see people and having a good time,” said Folsom resident, Jamie Orl.

It’s a move restaurants like Citizen Vine have been hoping for months.

“Our sales are probably going to double than what they were 30 days ago, we were just waiting for the okay,” said owner, Lisa Gomez.

Typically, only the 700 block of the street is blocked off during the weekends. After a push from the historic Folsom district and city approval, the closures have been expanded.

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The district is now hosting events including live music every weekend with musicians like Bobby Dickson. While still practicing social distancing, Dickson turned his truck into a performance space.

“There is a big smile under this mask,” Dickson said. “I converted the bed of it into a stage and it’s basically my yellow caution tape all around me.”

Special events like the farmers market, an outdoor art show and pop-up shops taking over the street are also sparking interest.

The district says events will be spaced out and merchants are following health guidelines.

“This is for people who feel safe, are healthy, protecting themselves with mask and taking all those precautions. It’s up to all of us to social distance,” said Judy Collinsworth, Executive Director of Historic Folsom.

Businesses relying on the foot traffic are hoping the changes are here to stay.

“We aren’t even 25% inside more less full capacity. We really need this for the whole summer,” Gomez said.

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The 600-800 block of Sutter Street will close to traffic every Friday starting at 2 p.m. and reopen on Monday at 7 a.m. for the remainder of March.

Velena Jones