Phase two of Folsom’s 2.5-mile Johnny Cash Trail opened Saturday with a festival, two fun runs and a community bike ride.
The first phase of the nearly $8 million project was completed nearly three years ago, when a 1.2-mile segment of the Class I bike trail opened. With the completion of the second phase, the bike trail infrastructure is in place. The city plans to create a linear public display to honor Cash with eight large pieces of art that will tell his story.
Cash’s daughter Cindy Cash spoke and cut the ribbon at Saturday’s event. She choked up as she spoke of her father’s humble nature and how honored he would have been by the event, which included nearly 600 runners, 150 cyclists and other attendees.
“If my dad could see all of you people here, 14 years after he died, he would say, ‘Why me? Why did everyone do this for me?’ ” Cindy Cash said.
Folsom Mayor Andy Morin spoke about the significance of the trail to the Folsom community and his gratitude for Cindy Cash traveling from Ventura to attend the grand opening.
“This brings two things together that we pay a lot of attention to in Folsom, and that’s our trails and our history,” Morin said. “Cindy Cash is here representing her great family and what Johnny brought to this earth with his artistry, but also by being a great person.”
Morin also participated in the 6.4-mile run along the trail, jokingly warning participants, “Don’t pass me – I want to win.”
Folsom Parks & Recreation Director Robert Goss, who spearheaded the project, was excited for the upcoming public art that that will adorn the trail. Goss said the city has begun raising funds for the $8 million art project.
The city was selling Johnny Cash bike jerseys and commemorative “JCASH50” license plates at the festival. Proceeds from the runs and bike ride also went toward the project.
The art will be a collaboration between Sacramento artist Adam Romo, the Fine Art Studios of Rotblatt-Amrany and the RRM Design Group. The pieces will include two 7-foot tall bronze guitar picks at the trailheads, a 40-foot statue of Cash and a “Ring of Fire” that will glow like flame, according to the project’s website.
Other plans include a 3-acre park with an amphitheater at the corner of East Natoma Street and Folsom Lake Crossing.
Saturday’s festivities were scheduled to conclude with a fundraising $250-a-plate, farm-to-fork style “Out Among the Stars” dinner on the Robber’s Ravine Bridge.
Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost gave her $50,000 allocation of a $1 million Board of Supervisors grant to the project. She presented Goss a ceremonial giant check for the amount. Visit Folsom also granted the project $50,000.