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Businesses along new parade route prepare for crowds

Posted at 10:27 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 23:27:10-04

Saturday will be anything but typical for a stretch of Staples Street that is part of the revised path for this year’s Navy Army Night Parade during Buc Days.

Businesses toward the end of the route understand that the construction of the new Harbor Bridge prompted the changes. While they accept them, some are anxious about the unknown.

Keetch Motors sits on the corner of Staples and Buford, where the parade will end this year. He said he had some concerns when he first learned the parade would wind down around his business.

He’s talked with people who plan to camp out in that area. Even though he knows they mean well, he believes there may be an issue with space if those celebrations get too big.

“There’s not a whole lot of room out there on that sidewalk for Skid-o-Cans and barbecue pits and seats and everything, so I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Keetch told KRIS 6 News.

He has also taken security measures to protect his business as much as possible, including additional lighting around the building.

Further north on Staples, workers at Jean’s Restaurant Supply are embracing the new route, even getting into the Buc Days spirit with a sign in front warning customers to beware of pirates.

“Why fight it? You know, we just have to go with it. That’s what the city has decided that’s the best. We’ll go with it,” said administrator Betty Garcia, who’s also a longtime Buc Days volunteer.

She says the business will close on Saturday and rope off its parking lot for special guests to enjoy the parade.

“We have it accessible to our employees and we’ve invited volunteers with the Red Cross to join us in our parking lot,” Garcia explained.

Despite any differences about the new route, these businesses have one thing in common.

“I want everybody to come and have a good time. I hope everything’s fine,” said Keetch.

Garcia only had one piece of advice for everyone, saying, “It’s Buc Days. Let’s have fun!”