Hometown Impressions

Olde Town Arvada shovels out to open for business

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As the sun beamed from a bright blue sky the day after the March 23 spring blizzard, Olde Town Arvada shop owners emerged ready to get back to business — shovels in tow.

“We started an hour ago, and a lot of people are complaining about our public walkways because of the snow,” said Tillie Rangel, owner of Mix It Up Boutique on the west side of Olde Wadsworth Boulevard. “We have to clear off the whole thing, but we also try to clear off the benches as well for people to sit on — they want to come down and sit, and if it's not clear they can't do that and be in town.”

Rangel was not alone.

By 11 a.m., business owners, church volunteers, employees and a few Olde Town customers were working to clear nearly 15 inches of snow from their properties so they could open for the day.

“I just started,” said Chris Stromberg, owner of Manneken Frites, a Belgian fries shop on Olde Wadsworth Boulevard. “I want to get my deck cleared off so people know we're open — when people want their frites they know how to find us.”

Remnants of the whiteout storm — which showered the Denver-metro area with 12 to 24 inches of snow — were visible throughout Arvada's downtown scene.

Silvery-white uneven carpets of ice and snow lay along the sides of Webster Street and some sidewalks along Olde Wadsworth. Large snow piles, formed by workers clearing paths, sat in the Olde Town Square on 57th Street and at the corner of Yukon Street. With a large crunch, heavy snow fell off tree branches, prompting passers-by to duck, despite being a few feet away.

Around the city, business owners, city staff and citizens alike began to clean up Mother Nature's mess, clearing sidewalks, four-mobile plowing driveways, and pulling out stuck vehicles from snowy parking spots.

“Well, we can't do nothing about the gutters,” a woman who was clearing off the sidewalks at The Rising Church on 57th Street said to her shoveling crew. “That's good for today.”

And as the pristine white snow turned to slush in the spring sun, owners remained optimistic, stating this is just the way it is here, Colorado goes through all the seasons in a day.

“This is Colorado,” Stromberg said. “This is what people live here for — so, there's no reason why they would not come out, and enjoy Olde Town.”

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