Johnny Cash Trail and Overcrossing opens Oct. 4

Music icon with prison tie is honored with exhibits
By: Staff Report
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Dedication and ribbon cutting ceremonies for Folsom’s Johnny Cash Trail and Bike/

Pedestrian Overcrossing are set for Saturday morning at the intersection of Folsom Lake Crossing Road and East Natoma Street .

Roseanne Cash will attend the ceremonies for the project that honors the memory of her father, said Sue Ryan, City of Folsom public information officer. The public is invited to view exhibits and enjoy entertainment from 9 a.m.-noon. The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

Organizers encourage guests to walk or cycle to the event, because of a limited on-street parking for vehicles.

The $3.8 million overcrossing, which spans busy Folsom Lake Crossing Road, is designed to echo the look of Folsom Prison’s East Gate guard towers, Ryan said. Cash made the prison famous with his big hit, Folsom Prison Blues, which he performed at the prison in 1968.

“People around the world know Folsom because of that very famous song,” says Mayor Kerri Howell. “This very distinctive overcrossing will serve as an iconic and symbolic feature of Folsom history and will be a unique gateway for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.”

The 2.5 mile Johnny Cash Trail will eventually extend from the Historic Truss Bridge to Green Valley Road , traversing prison property and linking El Dorado and Placer counties to Folsom’s Historic District and the American River Parkway , Ryan said.

Exhibits at the event will showcase plans for the Johnny Cash Trail Art Experience. The Folsom City Council recently approved artists’ concepts for the project, and development of a fund raising campaign.

“This public art project will celebrate Cash’s musical career and his influence on the City of Folsom,” says Robert Goss, Parks and Recreation director.  “The project will include eight pieces of artwork that will ultimately be placed along the trail and a two-acre park honoring the ‘Man in Black’.”

A passionate advocate for prisoner’s rights, Cash gave numerous performances at prisons around the country. His two 1968 performances at Folsom State Prison were among his most successful, forever linking the singer to Folsom.  Contrary to popular legend, Cash did not serve time in Folsom Prison.

The trail and overcrossing project were funded with state and federal grants provided by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Cal Trans and the State Resources Agency. The project contractor was Westcon Construction Corp of Newcastle , CA.