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City throws parade for struggling merchants

Business slows along Clematis Street
Posted at 6:32 PM, Jun 05, 2019

The City of West Palm Beach has started working on the second phase of construction along Clematis Street's 200 and 100 blocks, but it hasn't been great for the merchants. Businesses like Pizza Girls saying their volume at their establishment has slowed.

You can call it "cone-y" but the city is getting the word out that Clematis Street is open by embracing the symbols of construction improvement. It's hard to miss all the traffic cone themed puns on signage everywhere up and down the street.

"Where in the zone, we're in the cone, the cone of silence, Cone-Zilla is out, King Cone is up at City Hall. We've had so much fun with it, almost to the point, you don't look at a traffic cone the same way," says Mary Pinak, Community Events Manager.

The city is installing curb-less streets better lighting, and more space for restaurants just like they did in the 300 block last summer.

Thursday afternoon, The City of West Palm Beach hosted a parade featuring "I-CONE-IC" items you'd find on a construction site like Bob's Barricades and traffic cones with the intent to help stimulate businesses affected by the improvements.

"I think it's really really important to show [the merchants] that we are behind them and to show everybody we are open for business," says Pinak.

The city is trying to make light of the Streetscape project slowing the business of local merchants. The owners of Pizza Girls appreciate the extra attention they are getting. "The city is really going all out to support the businesses, and it's great, and we appreciate it," says Jennifer Morales co-owner of Pizza Girls.

"Pizza Girls is a long-term [merchant], [I think they've been there 25 years], they've been through transitions and they know the improvement is important. And we want them to know we are here year-round around here to support them. But In particular during this time we really really appreciate them and all the merchants on the street," says Pinak.

The parade featured traffic cones representing each business affected by the construction projects, the Keiser University Band, politicians looking to get a little face time, and many of the city's departments like police, fire, and sanitation.

You can spot creatures made out of Bob's Barricades and traffic cones up and down Clematis Street when the Summer in Paradise free concert series returns to Clematis Street Thursday, June 6.

MORE FROM TASTE & SEE: Summer In Paradise Event Guide for West Palm Beach